The Altus Municipal Authority and City Council held their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5, where the AMA approved the water department to begin Phase II of the Water Treatment Plant rehabilitation project among other items on the agenda. The Altus Mayor and City Council also recognized the Emergency Management Director Lloyd Colston for his efforts in emergency disaster response.
During the AMA meeting, the Board of Trustees approved Phase II Water Plant Rehabilitation Project and appropriated the total amount of $3,075,000 for the listed projects from the Water Plant Reserve Account, and authorized the City Manager to proceed with those projects.
Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Gene Leister, explained in addition to the original project, it would be beneficial to include replacement of clarifier equipment and sludge management pumps and piping, adding $1.4 million to the project. Leister confirmed with the AMA that by making these changes now, it will bring the cost down in later phases of the project, and the total cost of the project will remain the same at $4,827,750.
This phase of the project will allow for both the Conventional Water Plant and Reverse Osmosis Plant to treat water from Lake Tom Steed.
The AMA also received a presentation from consultant Chris Riffle, Planning Commission Director Barbara Burleson, and Dan Scott Electric Department Director, on a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the City of Altus. Riffle described the GIS as a layered mapping system that would allow several departments to keep web-based, up-to-date records of the City’s infrastructure.
Councilman Rick Henry commented about the need to adopting the system saying, “I don’t think it’s being proactive, I think it’s catching up.”
The AMA also authorized the Purchasing Department to advertise for bids for low stock transformers for the Electric Department to replenish stock. They also approved an Agreement For Engineering Services for plans, specifications, and other pertinent documentation, for the construction of the parallel water line from the City of Altus to the Creta water line connection to SBC Consulting Engineers.
The AMA also authorized an Agreement between the City of Altus, and the Southwest Rural Electric Cooperative relating to the Heritage Road portion of the new Distribution System Upgrade that is part of the Nona Substation Decommission and the Duplex of Tamarack Substation/Distribution Upgrade Project.
After the AMA meeting adjourned and the the City Council meeting began, Council heard comments from the audience. William McCaskill of Altus informed the City Council of his intent to compete in the 200 meter and 400 meter track and field races at the 2016 Olympics. McCaskill asked the City of Altus for their sponsorship and provided necessary paperwork to be addressed at a future meeting.
One resident commented and asked that the City issue a letter to property owners for overgrown grass, rather than use a sticker, which in some cases the the landlord isn’t being notified of the tenants negligence.
Mayor David Webb took the opportunity to recognized Emergency Management Director Lloyd Coslton for his contributions in improving disaster response efforts. Mayor Webb read aloud a letter received as addressed to Colston.
“Dear Lloyd, Your hours of service and expertise have provided input to numerous forums on improving humanitarian and disaster response activities. Enclosed is the U.S. 2013 Presidential Volunteer Service Award and Bronze Humanitarian Service Pin for your contributions in 2013. With your support we responded to 201 emerging events in 2013, including one physical deployment in Moore, and one significant catastrophic event tin the Philippines…” The letter was signed by Christine Thompson, President of Humanity Road, Inc.
“And we appreciate your efforts Lloyd,” Mayor Webb added.
During the City Council meeting, Council acknowledged receipt of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce grant to resurface Falcon Road at the Altus Air Force Base entrance and authorize staff to advertise for a RFP seeking engineering design and technical assistance with the resurfacing project.
Council also received an update regarding advertisement for RFQs for engineering services for the Altus/Quartz Mountain Regional Airport. The FAA has a requirement to re-advertise every 5 years for engineering services at their airports.
Council also authorized to have the Mayor sign a letter of support for the Thunder Cares Foundation initiative as presented by Dan Goodson III, for a Thunder Basketball court to be constructed in Altus.
Council tabled an item regarding an upgrades to Parks and Recreational facilities, specifically the baseball and softball fields. Several council members expressed that Altus should have nicer playing fields for children to play at.
“My children particularly have been playing softball for a number of years and certainly we are fortunate to have the facilities that we have, but I’ve had the occasion to go to Chicasha and other communities and those facilities are much more up to date, much better, and I think that we can do better,” Councilman Michael Beason said. “I think that recreation does generate a significant revenue. I’ve talked to a number of other people, particularity other parents, and they would like to see the fields improve.”
Council also received an an update from Guernsey and Associates regarding the ‘Drought Proof Water Project’. Council is currently awaiting to hear back from Guernsey regarding the feasibility study.
Other items approved during the City Council meeting include authorization of the Street Department to purchase and replace all overhead street signs on Broadway and Main Streets as well as other streets as evaluated that need to be brought up-to-date or replaced at an estimated cost of $5,000.00 for the first phase; authorization of the Purchasing Department on behalf of the Street Department to advertise for RFQ to oil and chip a portion of Falcon Road from North Park Lane to Veterans Drive; approved a Resolution to fill the Trustee position on the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund board of Trustees and appointed Gaylord Thomas to serve; authorization for the City Manager to sign the Single Audit Engagement Letter and the Compilation Engagement Letter for the year ended June 30, 2014 between the City of Altus and the audit firm of Arledge & Associates, P.C. of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Council tabled and item on a Resolution appointing a position, the City Manager, to serve on the Election Committee (Board of Directors) of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, effective after the August 14, 2014 Board Meeting.
Council went into executive session, and in open session approved a tentative agreement between the City of Altus and the FOP #120. Council also approved to adjust the acting City Manager’s compensation to match that of the City Manager.
Also during executive session council received update information only on current litigation for Round Timber Water Well Field water rights, between the governing body and its legal counsel relating to the pending action of The City of Altus, Oklahoma v. Leonard Keith Spears and Sherry K. Spears, Case No. 2:13-cv-00232-J, United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division.
Following City Manager, Council, and Mayor’s reports and comments, the meeting adjourned.