Niagara County apparently will need a new place to store its voting machines. As Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, had promised last summer, he and his fellow Democrats introduced a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting of the County Legislature calling for fresh bidding on the storage space lease. For the last six years, the county has been storing the machines in a former mattress factory on Transit Road in Newfane, owned by Lockport real estate developer David L. Ulrich. The $86,400-a-year lease for the 28,000-square-foot space renews automatically every Aug. 1 unless one side or the other gives notice 120 days in advance. And Ulrich gave that notice in a letter Thursday to County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz. Last year, the Legislature considered seeking new bids, but Virtuoso raised the issue within the 120-day window for renewal notice, so County Attorney Claude A. Joerg ruled it was too late for action. Virtuoso said at the time he would bring the issue up again early in 2014.
… Democrats have charged in the past that the lease was a gift to Ulrich, a frequent large contributor to GOP candidates’ campaigns. Ulrich said Tuesday, “They’ve been a great tenant, and we’ve been a great landlord.”
In October 2012, the Legislature approved a five-year lease on another 28,800 square feet in the 65,000-square-foot former mattress plant to store county records. The county will pay Ulrich $640,800 over the life of that lease.