The Altus City Council was introduced to newly promoted Altus Police Officers during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and considered items on the consent agenda. Council also received and update on the Drought Proof Water Project, learning that all stakeholders must meet and plan for the multi-state water conveyance system before a feasibility study can be performed.
During the AMA meeting, the Board of Trustees approved to allow the Sanitation Department to advertise for an RFQ to purchase or lease a used bulldozer for the landfill to replace the rental bulldozer currently being utilized at $4,400 per month. Kenny Combs, Sanitation Department Superintendent stated there are minimal funds in the department’s budget for a new machine and majority of assistance would need to come from the City’s Capital Outlay fund. A used machine may cost $165,000 to $300,000.
During the City Council Meeting, Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy called upon APD’s newly promoted officers as he introduced them one at a time to Council and the citizens of Altus. Chief Murphy introduced the new Altus Deputy Chief of Police, Bill Perkins, APD Captain Mike Munn, APD Lt. Tim Scott, and Sgt. Curtis Kuhn.
Following the introduction, Council received an update from Ken Senour, Sr. Vice President of Guernsey, on the Drought Proof Water Project. Senour provided a draft Phase I Scope of Services as requested by the Altus City Council and explained that the next step is to have all the stakeholders meet and discuss funding and moving forward. Until a meeting of stakeholders occurs, no feasibility study can be performed. A feasibility study can take up to 9 months to complete.
“It has not gone any further than the draft that I have shown you,” Senour said. “That is where is stands now.”
Senour explained he Tarrant Regional Water District is looking for other municipalities to become the “anchor or forerunner” of the project, hoping that larger stake holders like Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) or Wichita Falls will become the forerunners. After speaking with Wichita Falls, “they didn’t particularly want to stand up and be on the forefront,” Senour said.
Senour stated that recently Lawton received a presentation on the project and signed the Letter of Intent, committing to about 20 million gallons of water per day.
Once the feasibility study is finished, the project could take up to 5 years to complete. Current stakeholders include the City of Altus (4.4 M Gallons per day, MGD), Lawton (20 MGD), CRMWA, Vernon (2.4 MGD), Wichita Falls (15 MGD), and possibly Tarrant Regional Water Authority. The project includes building a water pipeline from the Ogallala aquifer in the Texas Panhandle, through Oklahoma and back into Texas.
Also during the meeting, Council approved a Resolution appointing by position, the City Manager, to serve on the Election Committee (Board of Directors) of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority effective Aug. 14. Following the resignation of former City Manager Elizabeth Gray, OMPA required a new member be appointed to sit on the Board.
Council approved the conceptual plan for the new Senior Citizens Center to be at the corner of E. Commerce and N. Grady where the old APD Station was located, and the Altus Fire Rescue expansion and remodeling plans as recommended by the MAPS Facility Committee. Council then awarded a bid to M&M Wrecking, Inc. of $39,850 for demolition and removal of the former APD building at 118 N. Grady.
Council also approved an Ordinance to rezone a tract of land located at 2500 Cedar Creek Drive from Agricultural Auto-Urban Residential to Urban Residential. CP Homes seeks to develop the tract for Institutional Residential for 24 assisted living residential units.
Council also took “no action” on a Resolution to amend the City Employee’s Policies and Procedures Manual regarding City of Altus retirees contributions health benefits. Discussion of this item pertained to establishing contribution of zero percent after a future hiring date. This change will not affect any current employees’ retiring health benefits and aims to put the City on a “more stable fiscal path.”
Council then entered into executive session to discuss the pending litigation of the Round Timber Water Well water rights, between The City of Altus and Leonard Keith Spears and Sherry K. Spears, and also to discuss a claim in the amount of $2,675 filed by Altus G.G., Inc., d/b/a Best Western Motel for damages to the exterior wall.
In open session, the Mayor reported the pending litigation was an update only. Then Council voted to pay for the damages on the Best Western Motel.
Following comments and reports from the City Manager, Council members and the Mayor, the meeting adjourned.