May 252012

By Tammy Gray —

Although no action could be taken, Holbrook City Council members discussed the possibility of leasing the old Northland Pioneer College (NPC) dormitory to a faith-based group for $1 per year Tuesday evening.

City Manager Ray Alley noted that the dormitory buildings, which are now owned by the city, are in need of repairs. The organization, CIO Ministries, has agreed to complete the repairs at its own cost in return for a three-year lease, renewable for an additional three years.

“I’d rather have someone in there taking care of things,” Alley told the council. “They’re just sitting empty right now.”

Alley noted that at least one building needs an entirely new roof, and there is also a broken water line. He told the council that he felt the inexpensive lease was a reasonable tradeoff for getting the repairs done at no cost to the city. In addition, the buildings would no longer be vacant and continuing to deteriorate.

“They’re willing to take over the repairs,” he said.

Alley told the council that the lease agreement would also require the group to maintain the buildings and surrounding property, including removing weeds and trash.

Vice Mayor Charles Haussman asked how the group intended to use the buildings. Alley explained that one building is not habitable, but could be used for storage. The others could be used as dormitories after repairs. According to Alley, the group ministers to Native American youth and would conduct their programs at the site, with the potential for leaders and youth to live on the site.

The council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would authorize the lease. No action can be taken, however, until after a second reading of the ordinance. The next reading is expected to take place at the June 12 council meeting, and be followed by a vote on the issue.