September 29, 2010 - Attention local building owners and land barons – the North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA) is in need of a new home to house its operations and fleet of vehicles.
NOTA's current lease at the Crossroads for Youth campus on E. Drahner Rd. expires in March 2011.
Pat Fitchena, executive director of NOTA, explained Crossroads "needs this space back," so the transportation authority has to find somewhere else from which to provide free rides to senior citizens, disabled individuals and welfare-to-work program participants living in Oxford, Addison and Orion townships.
What type of space is NOTA looking for?
Fitchena indicated the building has to be big enough to house the dispatch center, offices for its executive director and operations manager, and a lunch/break room for its hard-working drivers.
The transportation authority also needs enough parking to accommodate its 16 vans and buses, plus spaces for employees.
Where does NOTA wish to go?
"We would like to, if at all possible, get onto a concrete road that has good access to M-24," said Fitchena, noting the facility can either be located right on the state highway, which is the preference, or on a main road that leads directly to it.
The new facility must be located in either Oxford or Orion townships.
"Addison would be out of the question because it's too far out and the majority of the rides are generated through Oxford or Orion," Fitchena explained.
In order to find a new place, NOTA has assembled a three-member search committee consisting of Oxford Township Trustee Melvin "Buck" Cryderman, Addison Township Treasurer Dan Alberty and Orion Township Trustee JoAnn Van Tassel.
"Everybody's looking around," Fitchena said.
The director's hoping to find a "shrewd businessman" with space to lease who will realize what a "good deal" this could be for both parties.
She explained that because NOTA is a nonprofit entity, a landlord could rent the agency some space at a reduced rate, then write-off the difference on their taxes.
NOTA currently pays Crossroads $500 per month in rent and that includes utilities.
Even though the lease isn't up for another six months, Fitchena indicated NOTA can leave whenever it chooses.
"We can get out of the lease anytime," she said. "Crossroads has given us that option."
Fitchena would rather move sooner than later.
"I would prefer to move before winter comes," she said.
Those interested in leasing NOTA some space or who know of a potential location for the agency are encouraged to call either Fitchena at (248) 236-9273 or Van Tassel at (248) 391-0867.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.