Alternative sources of water discussed at Council meeting

Jason Angus Reporter

October 2, 2013

The Altus Municipal Authority and City Council held a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Council Chambers of the Municipal Complex to discuss plans for obtaining alternative sources of water, and an Altus Police Officer was honored for his bravery.

During the AMA meeting, an item to receive a presentation from the finance department of the City’s financial and operational reports for the period ending September 30, was tabled. The presentation will be given regularly at the second Council meeting of each month to allow for a more complete analysis of those reports from the prior month.

The AMA awarded Bid# 13810 for a 16 inch waterline to Great Plains Pump & Construction for the Falcon Road and Park Lane waterline relocation project, as the lowest and best bid in the amount of $39,461.04. Funding is provided by the Strategic Military Planning Grant.

The AMA approved an emergency purchase order for $30,000 after receiving an update from Electric Department Superintendent Dan Scott on last Thursday’s Nona electric sub-station power outage. Scott explained that a reported spike in power led to the discovery of a defective gearbox. The Electric Department made 14 different calls and located a rebuilt 1957 550 B gearbox for replacement.

“We can do everything getting that in here, filtering the oil, changing the contacts, for a additional $17, 057,” Scott said. A total of $30,000 for emergency purchase order was requested in case the total cost estimate of $20,900 is exceeded.

During the City Council meeting Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy recognized Sergeant Brad Edmonds for his brave action to helped residents to safety from a burning house. “Recently the actions of one Altus Police Department Officer were sent to the FBI,” Murphy said. “In turn they published his actions in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, and tonight makes me proud to honor Sergeant Brad Edmonds. Brad Edmonds of the Altus Oklahoma Police Department had just finished his shift when he received a call about a residential fire with people still inside. He was one of the first units to arrive on the scene, and after viewing smoke coming from the home, entered to help one of the occupants to safety. He then re-entered the home to assist a disabled person who was unable to escape. Though Sergeant Edmonds did not have a breathing apparatus to combat the increasingly thick smoke, he stayed with the person until the fire department arrived. He directed firefighters to the location and departed the residence after the victims were confirmed safe.” Edmonds received a framed certificate of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, and was honored before his family members, audience, and Council.

Dan Scott informed that Altus Power will be having a customer appreciation day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Municipal Complex, and will be serving hotdogs (donated by Bar-S), chips, and drinks for all costumers.

Burl Winters from the audience commented, “I’ve come to represent myself and my three partners. We own some property on North Park Lane, and I just request that anything in the future that ya’ll do, whether you do anything or not, that you not do anything detrimental or contrary to us using it for future development, just to make that a matter of record.”

Council received an update on any and all new alternative water sources being considered or investigated by City Administration or any of offers made to the City Administration by any entity to provide Altus water, excluding discussion of Round Timber Water Well field. Councilman Michael Beason informed that there have been some questions from the public relating to a plan for alternative water sources.

“No less than 10 alternative water sources have been identified and are being researched at this time,” said City Administrator Elizabeth Gray. Gray explained that some sources are with a few hundred feet of transmission lines while other are anywhere from eight to 10 miles away. Some sources show high nitrate and or high sulfate levels, and estimated five sources coming from the Blaine Aquifer. Most of the discussions underway are just preliminary, and two are closer to drafting agreements, of which one is likely for purchase of ground water and one for transmission.

Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Gene Leister confirmed that the Blaine Aquifer is high in sulfates, and could be treated once the Reverse Osmosis Plant is functional in the next 10 to 12 months.

Audience member Scott Simco asked why the RO will take that long.

Leister informed that after having already sent plans back and forth with comments, they are still waiting on a final approval from the Department of Environmental Quality.

City Council entered into executive session for a confidential communication between the governing body and it’s legal counsel relating to the pending action against the City pertaining to the re-zoning decision made by the City Council about a tract of property on North Park Lane where the AirEvac Lifeteam site was originally proposed. That item was an update only. Council also received an update only for any appraisal of real property on new alternative water sources.

There was no new business.

City Administrator Gray provided an update of the Veterans Drive water line relocation project, stating it is 40 percent complete, to be finished in about one month. The North Park Lane project is about 15 percent complete with a finish date around June 2014. Commended City staff for working with KOCO 5’s news team during the Salute to Service live broadcast. City volunteers will be working the Hall of Champions on Friday night, and City staff will be working at the Chili-Cook off on Saturday.

Councilman Rick Henry said there will be a joint meeting between the EDC and the Chamber of Commerce on Friday. He also reminded everyone that it is homecoming week and encouraged citizens to participate, go to the game, meet some new people, and buy locally.

Chad Osborne wished his 6 year old son Cole a Happy Birthday.

Councilman Dwayne Martin, informed there will be a conference call with City staff and Freese and Nichols, to provide an update on progress at Round Timber Wells.

Councilman Perry Shelton says asked to place an item on the next City Council regular meeting about the direction of the City Golf Course.

After Mayor David Webb said, “Its been a productive meeting. It’s good to be back,” the meeting adjourned.