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Council revisits ski area permit

The Ashland City Council could finalize an agreement on Tuesday with the Mt. Ashland Association for the city to give up its permit for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The City Council voted in August to give up the permit if the Mt. Ashland Association would meet a number of rigorous conditions — including that the association raise money for the first and most significant phase of the expansion before proceeding with any logging or soil-disturbing construction.

Ski area officials estimate the first phase will cost $2.5 million to $3.5 million. It's not clear yet whether the Mt. Ashland Association will agree to the conditions. If the city of Ashland does give up the permit, the association could apply to the U.S. Forest Service to become the new permit holder.

Public hearings on the permit issue are over, so the City Council is not accepting any more public comments about the potential agreement during Tuesday's meeting, according to a city notice.

In other business Tuesday night, the council will hear Ashland Homelessness Steering Committee recommendations to deal with homelessness issues.

Recommendations include that the city install portable toilets downtown and at each end of Ashland, rent a space for the Salvation Army to open a day use center and allow the Ashland Chamber of Commerce to install donation boxes in areas with heavy panhandling to encourage people not to give directly to panhandlers.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=14367.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.