AMA and City Council held a regular meeting in Council Chambers Tuesday that began with Mayor David Webb presenting certificates and pins to Robert Carter, Billy Ross, Jr., and Lynda Vann for 25 years of service to the City of Altus. Altus Fire Chief J.R. Wheeler recognized Altus Fire Fighters. New Firefighters are Nicolas Conner, Chase Duncan, Beau Paul, and Marcus Medlock. Those promoted from Firefighter to Driver are Benny Barnes, Neil Bonds, Greg Nettleton, Shawn Parker, and Jacob Rose. Promoted from Driver to Lieutenant are Randy Gipson and Tim Sullivan.
Promoted from Lieutenant to Captain was Greg Cross.
AMA approved items on the consent agenda that included last meetings minutes, purchase orders for the Enterprise Fund totaling $1,333,920.75, claims submitted by Boynton-Williams and Associates totaling $19,639.58 in construction oversight expenses for renovations at the Altus High School, and a claim submitted by Joe D. Hall General Contractor, L.L.C. for $121,673.89 for renovations and additions at AHS, all to be paid from the Sales Tax Revenue Note, Series 2011.
City of Altus Finance Director James Wilson gave a presentation for the period ending Jan. 31.
The AMA voted to table an item to amend the Annual Budget for the Enterprise fund for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, and also authorized the Purchasing Department to advertise on behalf of the Electric Department for bids for a 2000 KVa 480Y/277v 3 Phase Pad Mount Transformer to replace a transformer damaged due to fire, and to advertise for low stock utility poles.
AMA approved the bid submitted by Progressive Waste Solutions of Iowa Park, Texas, for “flatbed” trash removal service, and approved the bid for a re-manufactured CAT landfill compactor from Landfill Equipment for $150,000.
There was no new business, so the AMA meeting adjourned and the City Council meeting began.
City Council regular meeting was called to order. Items on the consent agenda were approved, including last meeting’s minutes, purchase orders for the General Fund, Workers Comp Fund, Airport Fund, Emergency Fund, and the estimated payroll for Feb. 28 and payroll figures for Jan. 31, with the exception of an item for Administrative Services for Legal Fees in the amount of $9,980. Chad Osborne asked about the nature of the expense.
Matt Coppock, Human Resources Director for the City of Altus, explained it pertained to a sensitive harassment investigation between an employee and supervisor, and they sought legal counsel under recommendation of OMAG.
After much discussion, several council members expressed disdain for not being made aware of the investigation. Simco left the meeting before they called for a final vote. A three to four vote was made to pay the lawyer fees to Lester, Loving & Davies P.C. law firm.
Council approved the request for qualifications for professional environmental Assessment for the Yates property to EST.
The item to vote for amending the Annual Budget for the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds , Capital Project Funds, and Internal service Funds was tabled until the next regular meeting.
City Council approved proposals from both Kwik Kar and McKenzie Truck Repair for maintenance and service to Fleet Maintenance Vehicles.
Council approved rezoning of two properties of 25.86 acres and 46.10 acres, recently purchased by Wichita, Tillman, and Jackson Railway.
A request to rezone a tract of property of 7.44 acres in the 1200 to 1300 block of N. Park Lane from Suburban Commercial to Auto Urban Commercial as recommended by the Altus Planning Commission, was not approved because there were not enough votes.
Attorney Steve McCaleb, representing property owners possibly affected by the rezoning, explained that the biggest concern is the “end game,” in which a helipad will be installed for use of medical emergency services. He made the point that it would be a drastic change in a residential area. He also noted that the guidelines for Industrial use is supposed to be for “Public” use, however stated that Air Evac is private company.
Mike Duffy, of the Falcon Terrace L.L.C., asked council to follow the recommendation made by the City of Altus Planning Commission, and ask for the opportunity to develop that property. He mentioned that any business that wants to use that property will have to meet FAA regulations.
Scott Barber, Field Development Manager of Air Evac Lifeteam explained that the Altus Airport is unable for use, because having a 24-hour team stay overnight is not permitted due to the Airport receiving Federal funds. He later commented that they will have to meet all regulations required by the FAA if rezoning is approved.
Barbara Burleson of the City of Altus Planning Commission explained that the property does fit the codes for all permitted uses in that district, and any business that wants to utilize that area would still have to meet further requirements.
A motion was made to approve the ordinance 2013-3 to change the zoning from Suburban Commercial to Auto Urban Commercial. The vote was four to three but according to state law required five votes.
Council entered executive session to consider a claim filed by Adam Hernandez for a plumbing bill for the amount of $80, and approved the item in open session.
There was no new business.
Council approved to appoint Diane Landers to the Altus City Planning Commission from Ward 3.
After Council members comments, Mayor Webb commented that he is getting tired of seeing trash in certain areas, and encouraged citizens to take part in this weekend’s “Clean Up Altus” campaign.