Baker City, which has been without a taxi service for more than a month, could soon have at least one licensed cab company.
Police Chief Ray Duman told the City Council during its meeting Tuesday that the city received an application Jan. 29 from David and Stephanie Sanders, who want to operate Elkhorn Taxi.
Their application is pending as city officials wait for confirmation of the company’s liability insurance, which the city’s taxi ordinance requires.
In other business Tuesday, councilors discussed a parcel the city owns on Valley Avenue, adjacent to Central Park, that could be sold, with the proceeds used to buy a larger parcel off Resort Street as access to the park.
City Manager Fred Warner Jr. said the parcel is a 40-foot by 100-foot bare residential lot that sits between two homes. Both owners have expressed interest in potentially acquiring the lot, Warner said.
If the city sells the parcel, it could use the money toward buying the larger property on the west side of Central Park, near Resort Street. That property could be used both for access to and parking for park visitors.
After Tuesday’s regular meeting, councilors had a nearly two-hour work session to talk about goals for the coming year.
Under the goal to “maintain and enhance water security,” Public Works Director Michelle Owen said the city will be soliciting bids in the late spring to drill a second backup well. That wouldn’t happen until the new fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2020.
Under the goal of “cost effective budget management,” Owen said the city has been testing LED street lights on Windmill Lane.
“I haven’t seen anything substantially improved in our cost of lighting,” she said.
The units have to be replaced frequently due to bugs getting inside the bulbs and burning them out, Owen said.
Under the goal to “enhance community livability,” Robin Nudd, the city’s human resources/community development director, said she feels there is a need for more afterschool activities for children.
Councilor Lynette Perry said a lack of such activities can make it hard for working parents, and increase their child care costs.
“It would be great if we were back to the five-day school week,” Perry said.
Mayor Loran Joseph said he will raise that issue at the next joint meeting between city officials and the Baker School Board.
Joseph said he wants the Council to be more involved with the Transient Lodging Tax committee, for which he is the city’s representative, and the Baker County Economic Development Council.
Warner is a member of the latter.
Other Council goals include (a complete list will be posted at www.bakercityherald.com):
• Support fuel reduction methods surrounding the watershed
Wastewater Disposal Plan
• Complete updated Wastewater Master Plan
• Make communication of wastewater rates and water projects a priority
Enhance Community Livability
• Evaluate options for city-focused economic development
• Coordinate efforts to support existing and new businesses
• Explore marketing options for Baker City/County (i.e., promotional video)
Increase citizen involvement
• Revamp and update city website
Implement an asset maintenance schedule
• Focus on master planning for the golf course and Sam-O Swim Center.