The Pryor Times

December 11, 2012

Pryor council discusses hotel/motel tax

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR —  The discussion of the allocation of the hotel/motel tax funds was a big ticket item on the Pryor City Council agenda. The portions of the resolution under examination stated that the funds would be used “to promote and foster tourism, conventions, special events and trade shows in the city,” and “to encourage the development of the city as a convention, trade show, and tourist center.”

For the first time in the council meeting, Councilman Leonard Barnes spoke up.

“I don’t believe this is something the city wants to do as a whole. This is locking in 80 percent of the funds and only leaving 20 percent to use,” said Barnes.

The next bullet point on the resolution stated that the funds be used to “construct, reconstruct, operate, maintain and repair buildings and facilities to encourage the development of the city and to promote and encourage the revitalization of the city’s downtown area.”

“This is not what the tax was set up for, constructing and reconstructing buildings,” said Barnes

“I disagree. It’s to improve Pryor, to help improve the appearance of downtown and make it a more friendly place to shop,” said Tramel.

“If we don’t do something to attract new businesses downtown, it will stay the way it is, with 15 vacant buildings in 5 blocks. This is investing in the city,” said Noland.

“Projects like improving downtown appeals to future business owners,” said Councilman Greg Rosamond. “We want people to see that the city of Pryor cares about their business. It will draw them in when they see that Pryor nurtures and supports our businesses.”

When it came to a vote, Barnes voted no but the rest of the council voted yes.

The city code discussing permits to use golf carts and utility vehicles for special events was revisited. The council discussed the one year terms of the permits and Police Chief Dennis Nichols was asked his opinion. In the votes, Stott and Willcutt voted no, but the motion was carried.

In a blanket motion the council approved: payroll purchase orders through Dec. 7, claims for purchase orders through Dec. 4,  and acknowledged receipt of deficient purchase orders. The council approved the schedules for Pryor Creek Holidays, Public Works Authority, Street Committee, Budget/Personnel Committee, Cemetery Board, Flood Plain Board, Planning and Zoning Commission, Library Board, Park Board, and Recreation Center Board. The council approved the expenditure of $15,540 to Mehlburger Brawley Engineering for the Ward 1 and two street rehabilitation project.

The expenditures for applications one and two, to Willowbrook for the City Hall project were approved. These expenditures were in the amount of $167,309.64 and $11,64.10. The council approved the purchase of a used John Deere AerCore 800 Aerator from Quanties Automotive Supply. The aerator was used very little and cost $5,000. The council approved spending $160 on four surplus self-contained breathing apparatuses and eight spare cylinders for Dry Gulch USA.

The Drug Policy approved by the council in July, 2005 was added to the newly adopted Policy and Procedure Manual.

In an executive session, the council voted to approve negotiations to the firefighters contract and the purchase or appraisal of real property located at 913 N. Rowe, using eminent domain.