April 21, 2022
The Town of Century has approved a free rent, three month lease with a startup transportation business.
Tuesday night, the council approved the lease with Metro Rapid Transport and their for profit non-emergency medical and other transportation service business.
The town will revisit the lease before it ends and consider options going forward; there is not an automatic renewal or extension. During the three months, the company will be required to pay utilities, but the town does not currently have a separate electric meter for the 1,000 square foot portion of the building leased by Metro Rapid.
The council unanimously approved the zero-dollar lease for the first three months. In February, the council received a business plan from Metro Rapid that indicated the company had budgeted $20,000 for leasing a facility, plus $25,000 to renovate the facility.
“I don’t want to deprive Century of the benefit of having a transit system,” Council President Luis Gomez, Jr.
“After the three months, we come back to the council and say well how much we are doing this lease for now and how much we can afford,” owner Trina James-Tanner said. “Century is small. There is no big money coming through. So it’s not like I’m gonna go right in and start making a thousand dollars a day with what I’m doing.”
“I’m trying to help the elderly. I’m trying to help the disabled. So if y’all can work with me would be great, she added.
Town Attorney Matt Dannheisser, who drafted the lease, refrained from suggesting a dollar amount for the lease citing insufficient familiarity with the Century Business Center.
Dannheisser stated in an email that he was instructed to refrain from including any requirement that the principal owners of Metro Rapid personally guarantee the rent and other obligations. The town has not conducted any due diligence into the company’s owners.
“Please recognize that because Metro Rapid is a new company (having been formed in Dec. 2021), it may have little assets. Correspondingly, in the event of breach of any terms of the lease (including, for example, breach of insurance or indemnification requirements of Sections 11 and 12), the Town may have difficulty effectively enforcing its rights under the lease,” Dannheisser warned.
Under the lease, Metro Rapid accepts the premises “as is” with the town having no responsibility for any repairs or alterations.
Metro Rapid also has nonexclusive right to use the paved parking surfaces and driveway. The lease also allows the company to use a portion of the property to the east of the Century Business Center as a bus parking area, but the buses and other vehicles are not allowed at the Century Business Center at anytime. Their use is limited to overnight and temporary parking of less than 12 hours. They are not allowed to make any repairs or service the vehicles on the property.
Metro Rapid must also maintain liability insurance with limits of at least $1 million per person or $2 million for injuries to more than one person and $250,000 for property damage.
Metro Rapid Transport plans to operate 18 hours a day, six days a week, according to their business plan and be based in the “northern Pensacola area”.
Proposed rates for the service are $2.50 “in town” or $5 round trip. For “out of town” trips, it will be $45 for the first 30 miles ($90 round tip) plus 20 cents per additional mile, according to the company’s undated business plan submitted to the town.
Metro Transit estimates nearly $4.2 million is needed to establish and maintain the service for three years. The plan states they have been able to generate about $8,000 in home equity from the owner, they are applying for state funding, and they are working to establish a line of credit at Navy Federal Credit Union.
Pictured: Metro Rapid Transport owner Trina James-Tanner addresses the Century Town Council. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.
20 Responses to “Century Approves Free Rent, Short Term Lease With Startup Transportation Company”
What a joke! Sounds like there won’t be any need for consideration after the initial three months since the company will be desolved. Unless the undisclosed business plan is to persuade the ridiculously ignorant town council to offer a cash infusion to keep the transit company afloat, “for the benefit and well-being of the underserved citizens.”
“Century” “Scammers paradise” Snake oil Salesmen all around the country heading to Century.
Kinda reminds me of the play “The Music Man”
Why is the town of Century constantly giving up revenue?
….this is one to keep an eye on..
Maybe the should talk to the owner of the building on hwy 97 and try to find out why that lease was terminated. I saw the metro rapid sign hanging on that building for a few months.
Might save the town of century a lot of time and money and do believe thats
warranted as a reference.
Just a thought
If you do what you do… you get what you got! No due diligence brought us. The Helicopter co.,, Magnum Industrusty, Sophie’s swimwear… A simple background check on the owners would have saved the Town of Century a lot of money! The business center was done with grant money several years ago, so there should be a business plan that would have been with that which would possibly have the information about renting space! As for how to charge on a shared meter, that could be done by square footage. If you have two tenants on one meter, one has 2000 sq Ft, the other 1000 sq ft .. then one pays 1/3 of electric & the other pays 2/3. I’m sure everyone would want to see this business succeed & prosper, but that will be up to the owners to make that happen, not the city. It’s a great help to have no rent to pay for 3 months! As with any new business, it’s a lot of blood, sweat, tears, long hours and prayers!
Gomez and crew would not outright sell the helicopter building building acquired for what, a dollar to successful business, almost ran off the people who fortunately bought the sawmill property.
Why didn’t they offer to sell it to these people?
Also ECAT runs a service and where are the vans and paratransit?
I guess they want to help a fellow, in the community suck off the giveamint. TLk about entitlement and privilege. Pffft.
You realize the giveamint runs off tax money paid in, ideally. Or print in out of air as the case with the feds.
Run the incorporation of the town like a business. This will be a flop.
I smell a rat/more corruption from Mayberry.
Not necessarily a bust, smart business people. Watch the old re-run TV shows and the public service announcement pound into your head day after day that if you are on Medicaid or government assistance everything is given to you free. Food, over the counter meds, extra money, TRANSPORTATION anywhere you want to go. Our present administration does not care what it will cost the taxpayers to fund all this. Why should they? No common sense is applied and as long as the public is willing to pay for any and all frivolous trips , some transportation company will take advantage of it and take the cash Uncle Sam so freely hands out
I agree totally with fisherman on this. My thoughts on this was the exact same. This is a sham. They will obtain funding from wherever they will be acquiring these funds from. Funds that will most likely not have to be paid back. They will remain in business for a short while after obtaining these funds, long enough to funnel this money into personal accounts and then close shop after a year or so. Perfect business plan to gain personal wealth.
The log cabin looking country store/restaurant building in Davisville was up for sale for a long time. Then, the sign out front changed to SOLD and a banner appeared on front of building “Coming soon Metro Rapid Transport”. This was several months ago – the sign has been gone now for awhile. I guess free rent is better than the deal they had in Davisville.
This deal will come apart like a two dollar suitcase. Write That Down!
Edit to previous comment: unanswered questions**
This is a late April Fool’s joke right? I have had more fleshed out business plans while taking a shower in the morning. $4.2 million is a pretty specific number, where did they get that from? What does that expense cover? How to they plan to profit? I can not wrap my head around the number of answered question and SOMEHOW once again the town of Century is just going along with a half baked scheme with no long term plan.
This is a sham the only purpose of starting this business is to obtain State and Federal funds (tax payers pay) Once they secure 4.2 million in funding this business will go away and NEVER be heard from again. This smells very bad. Way to go Century give a for profit company free rent. Doing this for the elderly but charging $45 for a 30 mile trip. What a shame.
5.00 dollars round trip in century @ 3.50 plus a gallon + wages + wear and tear on vehicle. loose loose loose
Say it ain’t so… nearly $100 to Pensacola and back to Century? Doubt there will be many (if any) takers for that trip. On top of that, add in the high likelihood there will be to little demand for the $5 local service trips to make this a sustainable venture without a substantial infusion of tax dollars. Navy Fed. would best serve it members by passing on a line of credit.
Just ignore those lights, bells, sirens, and red flags.
So the business has equity less than most people’s rainy day fund, zero line of credit as of now, and looking for funding? While needing ≈$1.4M a year to survive? Sounds like someone should have finalized their business plan and established some working capital before getting the keys to an “office”. Do they even have the modes of transportation purchased?
This seems kinda childish. “We have a half baked idea with no real plan, give us money”. $90 round trip plus additional mileage lol. Have these folks been to Century??? “The town has not conducted any due diligence into the company’s owners” – maybe this should be a red flag? Everyone laughs at Century over crap like this.
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Written by William Reynolds · Filed Under MORE TOP STORIES
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