Baker County Commissioners
The Baker County Board of Commissioners, in an effort to help Baker County address economic development and job creating opportunities, has appointed a number of task forces over the past three years.
Each of these task forces have actively worked to take action and make recommendations to help Baker County meet its mission to become the "Premier Rural Living Experience in the Pacific Northwest".
Here is a synopsis of the actions of the task forces:
Armory/Conference Center Task Force
Given Baker County's success in receiving $4.2 million in state and federal funding for the construction of a new National Guard Armory, the Baker County Board of Commissioners appointed a task force in the fall of 1999 to identify how the 30,000 square foot building could be utilized and expanded for use as a conference facility.
Although Baker City and Baker County have many fine conference facilities, none of these facilities can handle events in excess of 200 people. Given the large square footage availability within the armory, and the limited use except for in times of national and local emergencies, the armory facility has great potential to host large gatherings.
The task force met for two years, and formulated a series of recommendations as follows:
-maintain the existing Chamber of Commerce building at its current location to greet out-of-town visitors,
-expand the planned Armory building adequately in order to serve as a destination facility for conferences and events,
-redevelop the western half of the existing activity building for use as an exhibit hall,
-develop a cooperative marketing program and package development with the local private sector,
-ensure adequate funding for fair and 4-H activities,
-ensure adequate budget for start up and operating expenses of conference center, and
-develop a new non-profit organization to manage and market the center.
The task force expressed concerns that Baker County may not be able to afford the operations, maintenance, and marketing responsibilities of the facility as a conference center. To mitigate this concern, the task force recommended that the law enforcement training center capacity of the facility be emphasized.
Baker City, OR 97814