City Council approves 25 bids for new fire station

By Katrina Goforth -

The Altus City Council and the Altus Municipal Authority met in regular session Tuesday night to discuss progress on the Central Fire Station, school zones and the 2018 council meeting schedule.

Though they meet as separate bodies, the council and the authority are comprised of the same members and meet consecutively on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. through the end of this month at the Altus Municipal Complex at 509 S. Main St.

The council discussed awarding bid packages reviewed by Joe D. Hall General Contractors in the Central Fire Station project.

The Altus Fire and Rescue Central Station project began Nov. 3, 2015, when the Altus City Council awarded a contract to Boynton Williams and Associates Architects of Norman to design the new Central Fire Station. A contract with Joe D. Hall of Elk City was approved by the council Dec. 15,2015, for both the Altus Senior Activity Center and Central Fire Station.

Since then, final design plans and specifications were issued, the council authorized Joe D. Hall to advertise construction bids based on an estimated construction cost of $6.9 million and bids were received by the City of Altus.

In response to 25 separate bid packages, 122 bids were received and reviewed by Joe D. Hall. On Nov. 29, Joe D. Hall requested that 25 bid packages be awarded for a guaranteed maximum construction cost of $6,626,305. The City of Altus is seeking to amend the existing contract with Joe D. Hall to reflect the changes.

Joe D. Hall Representative Chris Richeson, was present to discuss the fire station project.

Richeson told the council that Altus Sand and Gravel and Thompson Electric of Altus and several other contractors out of Lawton were chosen.

“We take responsibility as construction manager at risk,” Richeson said. “We comb through these contractors and take it seriously because it’s on us, not you, if they don’t deliver.”

Richeson said the company plans to lay out and survey the property next week, weather permitting, but they’re ready to begin as soon as possible.

City Manager Janice Cain said the City has been setting aside Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS, sales tax funds since it was passed by Altus voters in 2008. Like the Senior Activity Center project, which is nearing completion, the City of Altus MAPS funds will go into the new Central Fire Station project.

Mayor Jack Smiley said that though there was criticism for not going ahead with this project sooner, the City’s choice to wait until all the funds were accumulated will save them tens, if not thousands, of dollars in interest fees that can be better used to add to the improvement of the project.

The council approved the bid package unanimously and moved on to discuss the addition of permanent 20 mph speed limit signs during school days in the 900 block of Carver Road near Lincoln Headstart.

Temporary 20 mph signs were put up a few weeks ago. Police Chief Tim Murphy said that since the completion of the Carver Road project, the road has been a racetrack.

Murphy told the council that a speed trailer set up at the location just north and south of the school has clocked drivers going as much as 95 mph down that road during school hours. Of the 1,025 vehicles that passed by, about 6 percent have either maintained or drove below that 20 mph speed limit while the rest have exceeded it.

“It’s in the best interest and safety of our children to slow the traffic in that area,” Murphy said. “The City will be held liable if someone is hurt after this recommendation has been made.”

Council members said they wanted to look into adding speed bumps in addition to the speed zone limit signs. Murphy wanted further input from Street Director Chad Osbourne to learn if adding speed bumps would cause damage to the road.

Diane Landers was the only no vote. The council approved the addition of permanent signs to Carver Road.

In addition to these, the council approved the 2018 city council meeting schedule with city council meetings held once a month on the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m.

Following the city council meeting, the Altus Municipal Authority met.

The authority authorized city staff to solicit bids for the purchase of three replacement reverse osmosis membrane canisters for the Altus Water Treatment Plant. The budget estimate is $600,000 funded by a $4 million Water Treatment Settlement paid to the City of Altus.

The authority also approved the 2018 authority meeting schedule to mirror the 2018 city council meeting agenda.

To listen to the audio recording of both meetings, visit For more information contact City Clerk Debbie Davis at 580-481-2244.

By Katrina Goforth

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