The Baker City Council this evening will consider approving a 5-year lease with the owner of Anthony Lakes Ski Area to continue managing the city-owned Quail Ridge Golf Course.
Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 o’clock at City Hall, 1655 First St. The number of audience members will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In December 2019 the City Council approved the transfer of the golf course management lease from Mike Brooks to the Baker County Development Corporation, the nonprofit that owns Anthony Lakes Ski Area. The corporation formed a separate company, Quail Ridge Golf Management LLC, also in December 2019.
The transferred lease expires at the end of this year.
The proposed new deal that councilors will consider this evening is a 5-year contract starting Jan. 1, 2021. The contract includes a provision that the 5-year term will automatically be renewed each year unless either the city or the contractor declines to do so. This rollover clause would maintain the contract as a 5-year deal perpetually.
The proposed contract calls for the contractor to pay the city an annual rental fee of $5,500. The amount would increase, to an amount to be negotiated, starting in January 2026.
In other business Tuesday:
• Councilors will meet in an executive session (closed to the public) at 6:15 p.m. to discuss the recruitment of a new city manager to replace Fred Warner Jr., who is retiring at the end of the year.
Councilors interviewed five candidates last week; the city did not announce their names, citing the potential to affect their current jobs. Mayor Loran Joseph said he expects the Council during this evening’s meeting will announce the names of two, three or four finalists whom the Council will invite to Baker City to meet with residents and tour the city. This would happen after the Nov. 3 election. That would allow the finalists to also meet the newly elected councilors. Six of the seven seats on the Council are on the ballot, and among the 13 candidates for those seats are three incumbents. As few as one of the current councilors, and as many as four, will remain on the Council when it meets for the first time in January 2021.
• Councilors will resume a discussion about options for dealing with properties that violate the city’s property maintenance ordinance.
Police Chief Ray Duman told councilors in September that the estimated cost to clean up eight properties, for which the city has active abatement orders from the Baker County Justice Court, would exceed by at least several times the $6,000 the city budgets annually for such purposes.
Among the options councilors will discuss Tuesday are passing an ordinance requiring all habitable properties to be connected to an approved water and sewer system (either the city’s system or a verified well and septic system), creating a committee to look into the underlying issues leading to the maintenance violations, and allocating more money — $50,000 or more annually — to clean up properties.