Above: Dumas City Commissioners Ben Maples, left, and Justin Willis listen to discussion Monday about a possible lease agreement that could reopen the restaurant at the Pheasant Trails Golf Course.

The restaurant at the Pheasant Trails Golf Course could reopen as early as August if the Dumas City Commission and a woman who is interested in leasing it can reach an agreement.

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Kathy Baldwin told the commissioners on Monday she’s ready to sign a lease with the city and pay the rent she said could be made by “selling sandwiches on the golf course.”

“The rent is low,” Baldwin said. “I was surprised.”

Baldwin said she and her husband had looked at the former Keyhole Club on West 1st Street, but backed out when she saw the state of disrepair it’s in. The restaurant at the golf course, too, was in a similar impoverished structural state, but the city has recently invested in its roof and addressed other issues.

But even though Baldwin is ready to sign a lease, City Attorney Tom Moore said the law requires the city to follow statutory requirements and put the restaurant’s lease out to bid. Baldwin said she would pull out if she has to bid against others for the lease, explaining that process would complicate the already arduous tasks of obtaining financing and liquor licenses.

“I’m serious about making this work,” Baldwin said. “I would love to have this thing open by the end of September or early October.”

Mayor Pro Tem Dr. David Bonner asked Baldwin what would prevent her from opening as early as August.

“TABC,” Baldwin said, referring to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. She told the commissioners the organization’s requirements and the difficulty of meeting them could stall obtaining a liquor license for an August opening.

“Maybe you could do it in stages, “Bonner said. “You could open the restaurant and continue to work on getting the licenses you need from TABC.”

Moore recommended Baldwin give the commissioners a proposal, and the city would post a legal notice to begin the required 14 days of notifying the public the city is accepting proposals. The discussion to lease the restaurant was on the commissioner’s work session, but Bonner asked if they could make a decision during executive session to post the notice.

“You can,” Moore said.

Fast-tracking the legal procedures the city must take to lease its property would help the restaurant’s tenant benefit from all the events planned at the golf course during the upcoming months. Bonner said the golf course’s schedule is full until the end of October, and the sooner the restaurant can open, the sooner it can benefit from those activities.

“I’m ready to go,” Baldwin said.

On Tuesday, The Moore County Journal will have more news stories about other actions the City Commission took during their meeting Monday.