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July 19, 2007 Front Page E-mail
County Commissioners Renew Contract With Mountain Valley Mental Health

By Brian Addison
Nearly 75 people gathered at the July 11 meeting of Baker County Commissioners to hear contract decisions on county mental health services. The session was held in the county extension building to accommodate the large crowd. Many people joined the discussion and the meeting ran for four hours before a motion was made to award the contract.

County commissioners renewed the contract for public mental health services with private/nonprofit service provider Mountain Valley Mental Health Programs, Inc. The contract is renewed for one year. The contract renewal calls for two meetings during the year between MVMH and county commissioners for purposes of oversight on MVMH operations. Under terms of the contract, a county commissioner shall serve on the MVMH Board of Directors in an ex officio position.

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Public Information Meeting Held On Forest Service Travel Management Plan

By Brian Addison
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Steve Ellis, Whitman District Ranger Ken Anderson and Baker County Commissioners held a public information meeting addressing the Forest Service Travel Management Plan and road closures on public lands in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

RS 2477 Roads  
First agenda item was discussion on RS 2477 roads. The Baker County Road Department provided Baker County Policy on RS 2477 Roads. The first sentence of the policy letter reads, "Maintaining public access over historic public roads in Baker County is, and has been, a priority for Baker County."

The policy letter gives, "The entire text of the RS 2477 law," as, "The right of way for the construction of highways over public lands, not reserved for public uses, is hereby granted."

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Senator Ferrioli Tours Crossroads Arts Future Carnegie Library Site

By Brian Addison
State Senator Ted Ferrioli (R) John Day, visited Baker City on Friday bringing news that the governor had just signed House Bill 2140. Senator Ferrioli delivered the news to the delight of Crossroads Arts Board of Directors and those involved in the Carnegie Library renovation project.

H.B. 2140 contains a provision drafted by City of Baker City Attorney David Fine that works to exclude prevailing wage requirements for projects on publicly owned real property that is more than 75 years old and has been leased to a private nonprofit entity for more than 25 years. The Carnegie Library building and the city’s relationship with Crossroads Arts fulfills the requirements set forth in H.B. 2140 and as such the Carnegie Library renovation project qualifies for exemption from paying prevailing wage. With no requirement to pay prevailing wage, the Carnegie/Crossroads project completion is being measured in months not years.


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