The River Hills lease agreement may have potential legal issues.
The lease payments are extremely low – amounting to less than $12/day per field. To our knowledge, the property was not appraised as part of the lease negotiations. The lease also contains various terms that may not be fair market value.
EISD may not be receiving fair market value by $10 million to $20+ million over the life of the lease. If the lease terms are less than fair market value, the difference may be construed as a gift from EISD to WHLL, which could have important legal and financial consequences for both parties.
Furthermore, this does not sit well with many taxpayers in the community at a time when EISD is running significant deficits, and school support groups are pleading for public donations to help support the district.
Uncertainty in the EISD lease agreement is not good for WHLL or the neighborhoods.
The lease states that EISD has a future use for the ball field property. The lease also allows EISD to cancel the lease at any time with one years notice in the event that the property is needed for educational purposes, or to sell the property in certain financial situations.
EISD has indicated that they would like to build a school on the River Hills site. EISD’s engineering report indicated 5 ball fields (not 12 as proposed by WHLL) when the site was used in conjunction with a school.
We are not aware of any recent study that indicates that the site remaining after the WHLL lease is sufficient to accommodate a future school, or any future educational purpose needed at that location.