Q May a municipality enter into a long term lease on undeveloped real property with the intent to build a building on the leased property?

A Absent specific statutory authority a board may not bind successor boards. Consequently, any future boards will not be bound by the lease. A municipality does have the authority to make improvements to or otherwise spend funds on leased property. However, municipal governing authorities must take into consideration the value and term of the lease when spending funds for making improvements so that the expenditures do not constitute a donation to the owner. Whether such an expenditure will constitute a donation to the lessor is a question of liability which can only be resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Martin, September 1, 2016)