The Pryor Times

January 22, 2013

Chouteau approves demolition

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

— After the prayer and pledge of allegiance that begin every Chouteau Board of Trustees meeting, the council got down to business.

Their first action was to approve the Consent Agenda that included December 2012 minutes, reports from all funds, and payroll reports.

The board approved a purchase order and payment to Melton’s A/C and Appliance in the amount of $1,001.23 for repairs to the ice machine, as the work has already been completed. The funds will be taken from the General Fire Departments Other Outlays account.

One agenda item generated much discussion. It concerned two properties on South McCracken Street, one at 111 and one at 202.

“I’ve got pictures of these. We asked him to do something about this three months ago and the house hasn’t been touched,” said Mayor Jerry Floyd.

“I’m going to reccomend we demo this house, but I don’t know what procedures we have to go through, Ben.”

City Attorney Ben Sherrer explained that the house has been declared a public nuisance and the council has three options: to do nothing, give him more time, or demolish the structure.

Council member Brenda Cunningham questioned whether the owner of the first property in question, Mohamed E. Boudhhir, had been informed of this council meeting.

The council replied that he had not been notified of this particular council meeting, but that he had recieved prior notice.

At that point, trustees referred to the pictures of the home that had been provided by the police department.

“The roof on the back side fell in, nothing has been cleaned up. There are trees, and brush, and trash everywhere,” said Chouteau Police Chief Lynn Herschberger.

The council concluded that the the structure located at 111 South McCracken St. is a public nuisance and the city is within its rights to demolish it.

The other structure in question, at 202 South McCracken St., sparked a shorter discussion.

“Nick, the homeowner, called and said if we would give him 30 days he would have it out of there. He was very apologetic,” said Floyd. “I told him that was just fine. I believe he was honest in his offer.”

The council members agreed to grant him an additional 30 days before taking any action.

In a similar situation, the council discussed a house and lot on South Railroad Street.

“I’ve tried to call her a dozen times, she doesn’t answer or return my calls,” said Floyd. “It’s in bad shape but I really think we need to contact her. I think we should take no action until I get in touch with her.”

The council voted in agreement with the mayor.

The question of sending Hershberger to mandatory new chief training in Oklahoma City, was next on the agenda. The training is April 15 through 19, registration will cost $250 and hotel fees will be approximately $370.17.

The votes were unanimously yes.

Rod Howell requested the Chouteau Police Department allow him to purchase his Glock .40 caliber pistol to use at the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office. The council discussed giving Howell the weapon in gratitude of his 13 years of service to the Chouteau Police Department.

“He was well worth it, let’s give it to him,” said Floyd.

The council then moved to amend section 1-14 of the Town Code to agree with Ordinance 2013-1 in saying that the secretary pay is $300 per month.

Similarly, the council discussed the proposed action to increase the pay or compensation of the town clerk-treasurer to be effective after the next election. The current compensation is $300 per month.

Donna Smith, the current town clerk-treasurer, explained she types minutes from council meetings at home, sometimes taking several hours. Her request was to be additionally compensated for that work.

Several minutes of discussion about dollar amounts and her current duties led to the mayor summarizing the issue.

“Well, your duties are to take minutes,” said Floyd, “As far as putting a dollar value on what you do, let’s study it. You will be considered for a raise. We have until election time to decide.”

No action was taken.

All council members voted yes to approve James Summerfield as a volunteer fire fighter for the Chouteau Fire Department.

They approved two payments to JD Apparatus Repair. The routine maintenance on engines, tanker, and operation truck costs up to $4,000. The funds were to be taken from the Special Fire Fund’s Other Outlay account.