The Gilbert Town Council restructured its rental rates for retail and professional spaces inside the Gilbert Municipal Complex during its meeting Monday night.
Destinee Cline, who owns and operates Thairapy hair salon in the complex, addressed the body with concerns about a notice she received her rent would not include fees because she subleases part of her salon to a nail technician.
“I got a notice that I was going to be charged an extra $300 per person who works in my shop,” Cline said during an emotional appeal to the council. “I was shocked. With the pandemic, I am barely making it.”
Cline said she uses booth rental space at her salon as a revenue source and did not know there was a fee for anyone to whom she leases booth space.
“I have always kept the booth rent,” she explained. “Without it, I cannot grow my business. I use that money to improve the shop and add more services.”
Councilwoman Olivia Sammons asked Cline if she had read her lease before executing the document.
“It might have been in there, but I was just following the rules of the previous owner,” Cline responded. “She had been there for nine years and didn’t have to pay (the additional fee). The change is so dramatic.”
“We are also a business,” Sammons said. “We have to make money to cover our expenses as well. Additional subleases increase our costs. I personally do rentals and if my tenants sublease it has to be beneficial to me as well.”
Sammons cited electricity, water and liability insurance as examples of subleasing expenses to the town.
Since the matter dealt with a contractual matter, the council decided to continue any further discussions in executive session. After which, Sammons made a motion to charge $400 per month for rental spaces within the complex and to charge an additional $150 for each sublease at tenant allows.
That motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Cline posted on her personal Facebook page Tuesday that she was “appalled with the town” and that she would be closing her salon.
The council, during its Utility Board meeting, was presented with a document to signoff on which would complete a water system and booster station upgrade project. The document said the project and all punch list items were finished and in working order. However, Water Plant Manager Mike Preston said the department was experiencing leaks at the booster station.
Preston and Mayor Jennifer Miller spoke with a representative of the construction firm about the issues who said the problems would be corrected.
“I understand they want to wrap up this contract,” Miller said. “But, before I put my signature on it, I want to make sure everything is operational.”
The council agreed to allow Miller to execute the once the additional repairs are made.
Miller also told the council that an increase in the business and occupational tax rates, which were previously approved and publicly advertised, will goes into effect this month.