The Silver Bay City Council took two actions regarding the Mary MacDonald Business Center at its regular meeting Monday, March 2.

The council voted unanimously to move forward with the eviction process of Wilderness Products, also known as Wildly Organic, following the denial of a rent abatement request at a previous council meeting.

The council also voted unanimously to accept the Mary MacDonald committee’s recommendations to postpone two projects on their 2020 budget in light of the projected rent loss.

Moving forward with eviction

The council rejected a lease agreement with rent abatement request of roughly $71,000 from the organic food company based in the Mary MacDonald at a special council meeting Feb. 24.

As the company doesn’t currently have a lease agreement with the business, city attorney Tim Costley advised the council on their next possible steps.

“My understanding is that they haven’t paid rent for February. On this commercial lease we have the right to immediately evict them,” Costley said. “The hope would be that I send them a letter and say, ‘You’ve got to be out.’ The lease gives them 15 days to get their stuff out. But we can also start eviction action so that we’re not sitting here at the end of 15 days and just starting the process It would take about 10 days to get before the court with an eviction action.”

According to City Administrator Lana Fralich, the business has been in contact and “would like to present as early as March 16 at the council meeting” with an updated proposal.

“What I’d like to propose is that we move forward with eviction and, by next meeting, maybe this will give them some additional motivation to come and speak with us,” said Mayor Scott Johnson.

The council voted unanimously to support the action, except councilor Shane Hoff, who was absent.

Mary MacDonald work postponed

Due to the loss of rent from Wilderness Products, the Mary MacDonald committee recommended the council postpone planned work on the building’s roof and paving the parking lot. Fralich said she was exploring other funding sources for the projects, but that it wouldn’t be on her list of immediate projects.

“I attended that meeting and I’ll just add that it sounded like the roof issues can make it a year,” Johnson said. “I think we’ve done a great job keeping up on that roof.”

Councilor Richard DeRosier agreed that the projects could be put off, but added that he reservations on postponing the roof work.

“I’m more in favor of continuing with the roof project and holding off on the parking lot,” DeRosier said. “The parking lot, you can still park in the dirt. As long as the roof isn’t going to cause a bunch more potential monetary damage, then we’re good.”

Fralich said there would still be some work done to improve the surface of the parking lot, it just wouldn’t be paved this year.