The Chouteau Town and Public Works Authority meeting was held Monday night.
Both meetings had some interesting moments. After the consent agenda was approved, the council had discussed a dilapidated house at 111 S. McCracken St. The property owner, Mohammed Boudhir, pleaded with the council not to condemn his home. He said he does have electricity to the house, but no toilet. After some discussion Mayor Jerry Floyd prepared a motion to condemn the property.
Council member David Morgan asked Boudhir if he could come up with a plan to clean up his property within 30 days, before the council makes a motion to condemn the property. Boudhir agreed and Floyd took the motion to condemn the property off the table and made a motion that Boudhir have his property repaired or have a plan to repair it within the next 30 days. The council agreed.
There was some discussion about the town dog catcher, who was seen with his wife the previous Friday at the Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store in the dog catcher vehicle. Tim Lawrence, a Chouteau resident, brought the use of the dog catcher vehicle to the town council. Lawrence wanted to know if the wife of the dog catcher could be in the vehicle as it could be a liability for the town should the vehicle get into an accident. Floyd said that the dog catcher was getting something for his job at Wal-Mart and then stopped at Braum’s and the town has a liability form for passengers in town vehicles to sign if they chose to ride along.
The council approved moving $4,484.00 into the Special Fire Fund’s other outlay. This is revenue received from the state of Oklahoma.
There was discussion about moving Halloween for the town of Chouteau to another night, as Halloween is on Wednesday, a traditional church night. Council member Brenda Cunningham said churches in town have their own related events for that night that should not conflict with trick or treating. The council voted to keep Halloween on Oct. 31.
The council approved closing north McCracken Street from the south edge of the Cutting Edge Building to their parking lot on the west side of the road north of the library, on Sept. 29 between the hours of 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This closing was requested by Word Fellowship Church that wants to have an event at that time.
There was some discussion about adopting a resolution on license fees for liquor stores. The liquor license for Chouteau is $300. For low-point beer it is $10. Town attorney Ben Sherrer asked the mayor if he wanted a new resolution drawn up with some fee increases. No action was taken.
The council needs to pay an invoice for $15,796.76 for street repairs on N. Cemetery Street, Samuel Street, East 12th Street north of the New First Baptist Church and Lakeside Street that have been oiled and chipped. The council approved taking $50,000 out of the street and alley fund for these repairs. The council will have to return to the invoice for the $15,796.96 at next month’s meeting and that will be paid out of the $50,000 approved at this meeting.
The council approved $975 a year for Sutterfield Technologies for the Digiticket Program for the court department. This is for digitizing tickets issued for violations.
Since the $975 was approved, the council approved budget amendment #1213-2 to deposit the $975 in the court department’s other outlay.
The council approved purchasing $2,000 in asphalt from Apac Oklahoma Central for street repairs. This money will come out of the street and alley fund.
The council approved $2,500 to Witt Monument Company for replacing a monument that was damaged by a mower last summer. This money is to come out of the cemetery fund.
The council approved closing town streets for the annual homecoming parade on Sept. 14 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Floyd said he plans to wear a Santa suit for the event.
Floyd brought up the possibility of seeking a community development block grant for a new library. The library might be put in the firehouse on the east end of town. Cunningham wants a new library, but she is concerned about losing a firehouse on the east end of town. Fire Chief Ted Key said that with the trains there is a concern for delays when a train goes through town as the tracks divide the town. The main concern is when there are coal trains that tend to take a long time passing through town. Key said that perhaps the town should have a public hearing on this issue so that they can get public imput. No action was taken.
The council went into executive session regarding vacation time, sick leave and retirement for Amanda Cox and discussion into a pay increase for Cox for declining the town’s health insurance policy.
The council returned from executive session and decided to waive the probationary period for Amanda Cox.
No action was taken on the pay increase for Amanda Cox.
The Chouteau Public Works Authority meeting was called. PWA member Frank Klucevsek joined the meeting, Russell Sullivan was absent. The PWA approved purchase orders and encumbrances, the August payroll report, financial reports and the previous months meeting minutes.
There was no action taken on removing all consent agenda items.
R.L. Sanders, who attended last month’s meeting, returned with letters from neighbors who claimed they had never had trash service from the town. Sanders lives outside of town. Sanders claims he has been billed from Chouteau for 12 years despite getting no trash service.
Floyd said that the PWA is just the collection agency for Pryor Waste and Recycling. PWA Supervisor John Crowson said he had been to Sanders’ property and had seen a trash receptacles with trash in them and it was emptied on Wednesday morning, and he has photos to prove it.
Sanders said he would talk to Pryor Waste and Recycling and thanked the PWA for their time. Bill Dinsmore of Pryor Waste and Recycling told The Times that Sanders is not billed and the property in question belongs to La Donna Duncan who does receive trash service. Dinsmore purchased the route from Green Country Recycling in 2011. Dinsmore said that area outside of Chouteau is odd because there are no addresses on the homes.
The PWA approved adopting a resolution 2012-5 authorizing issuance not to exceed $4,200,000 for the sewer treatment plant approving a loan agreement and authorizing payment to the Oklahoma Water Resource Board. Before it was approved, Klucevsek asked if this was going to be explained to the PWA first. Floyd agreed and opened the floor to John D. Weidman of Hilborne and Weidman attorneys in Tulsa who are handling the transaction for the PWA.
Weidman said if the PWA was willing to refinance this debt, the town could save $1.7 million over 26 years on the $4.2 million note. The reason this was coming up at this time is that interest rates are very low now and the PWA could take advantage of that on this debt.
Now the debt service is $240,000. Hilborne and Weidman claimed they can drop it to $230,000 or $225,000. There is a one percent fee to set up refinancing. The original loan of $4.2 million was taken out in 2006 and the PWA has primarily made interest payments plus a little on the principal. The resolution was approved.
The PWA, in a split vote, rejected a resolution to nearly double the cost of a new water tap. According to Crowson, the cost of a new tap is $275 which covers the cost of labor. Had the PWA approved the motion about $263 would be added for the cost of materials. “We can’t continue to do things for everybody for nothing! Can we?” The yes votes were Cecil Lane, David Morgan and Jerry Floyd. The no votes were Frank Klucevsek, Toyna Yoder and Brenda Cunningham. Because it was a split vote, the motion did not pass. The potential tie breaking vote, Russell Sullivan, was absent.
One of the reasons the vote failed is that this would add the cost of materials, which continues to rise. There would be no cap on the water tap fee. Cecil Lane said after the meeting that he thought it was best that the PWA have a flat rate for water taps, even though he voted for it. Klucevsek said he hoped something could be worked out at a future date that would be fair to everyone.
The Chouteau Town and Public Works Authority meeting was held Monday night.
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