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Incubator lease approved for obsidian mining business

Lake County’s Board of Commissioners approved a lease agreement that will allow an obsidian mining company to utilize the County’s incubator building for its operations.

The lease agreement, approved by the commissioners on Wednesday, July 2, affords the Company, Jacks R Better Rocks, a location to operate, providing a graduated rent schedule for use of the building, which is located in the Lake County Industrial Park.

Under the agreement, rent for the first year is established at $450 per month, an amount that will increase to $675 for months 13 through 24 and then $1,125 for months 25 through 36.

Business partners Jack Benedict and Jack Moratto presented their business plan to the Commissioners a week earlier.  The operation is centered around obsidian hand-mined in Davis Creek, Calif., and is licensed in Oregon.

The Lakeview location will be a site for washing, sorting, bagging, and shipping of stones, with washing encompassing three to four days per week.

Currently staffed with about five employees, Benedict and Moratto said they would be looking to hire two more workers for the local site.

Moratto said their philosophy is that of buying local and hiring local.

Benedict said the duo established the company within the last three years as a means of supplemental income.  The business is built around a vast resource on federal governmental land in Modoc County, Calif.

Benedict and Moratto said that they strongly stand behind the notion of hiring workers seeking a second chance in life.  Commissioner Dan Shoun noted the local Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council as a workforce resource, as well.

During the Commissioners’ July 2 regular session, Facilities and Lands Mgr. Dave Berman recommended the approval of the incubator lease agreement.

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