Based on the outcome of a meeting of the designated Trustees, Candace Willingham, Mike Pate, Brett Willey, Stacy Riley, Perry Shelton, B.F. Rowland, and Rick Steen, the ART will be changed to an advisory board.
Concerns included ART being able to borrow money, whether ART would fulfill the City’s auditor’s comments and recommendations, and how ART may conduct business after its creators are no longer around. City Attorney, Catherine Coke, said that once the Trust would exist, it would take a lot of hoops to disband it. Council member Scot Simco said that the “prison trust” still exists and that should be disbanded. He said it will be put on a future agenda.
Mayor Webb said he saw ART as an advisory board to the Council and that the Council would actually have access to ART funds. He added that the proposed Trustees felt they were to be an advisory board, bringing their recommendations to the Council. The Council, by remarks made, preferred to have an advisory board rather than a trust. No action was taken on the items regarding ART and the special meeting adjourned at 6:33 p.m.
In the City Council meeting executive session, several personnel matters were discussed. For Robert Stephenson, the Council voted in open session to change his job duties and title by reclassifying the Public Works Director position without a change in pay. He will now become the Chief of Operations, over the following departments: Electric, Engineering, Fleet Maintenance, Parks and Recreation, Solid Waste, Water, Water Treatment, Sewer, and Sewer Treatment.
The Altus Municipal Authority (AMA) meeting began at 6:37 p.m. with all members present. AMA Trustee Rick Henry asked two items be excluded from the Consent Agenda. These were engineering items which were approved and also commended by Henry. The AMA Consent Agenda was approved including: approving minutes for the Altus Municipal Authority Meeting on February 7. For the Old Budget, approval of claim from Joe D. Hall, General Contractor, in the total amount of $176,815.85 for expenses for the Altus High School Renovation and Addition to be paid from Sales Tax Revenue Note, Series 2009. For the New Budget, approval of claim from Boynton-Williams & Associates, in the total amount of $1,561.89 for expenses for the Altus High School Renovation and Addition to be paid from Sales Tax Revenue Note, Series 2009. Approval of purchase orders for FY 2011-2012 for the Enterprise Fund totaling $1,134,276.06.
Janice Berryhill, Utility manager gave the AMA trustees a short update on past utility debt. They voted to authorize the write-off of uncollectable utility accounts from 2007-2008 in the amount of $252,115.37. These will go to the City’s collection agency.
They received briefings from Public Works Director Bob Stephenson relative to the RO Water Plant; and the Utility Rate Study. Stephenson said he’d been pleased with the meetings with Hydronautics on the water plant. A plan will be available in a couple of weeks. The City has a tentative meeting for the Rate Study. Data may be available in 60 days.
The trustees voted to waive landfill tipping fees for Jackson County Commissioners for debris from County demolition projects at 1306 Victory; 409 South Washington; 413 South Washington and 616 South Willard. Stephenson noted that the City and County relationship has improved dramatically and that this vote will help.
They also voted to authorize staff to negotiate a draft agreement with The Jackson County Water Corporation (the “Corporation”) for a metered connection on the City’s 18-inch “Texas” water line at a location four miles south of the City. Stephenson said this helps stabilize the water supply of good neighbors. Their main tie-in is near the South gate of Altus Air Force Base.
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 6:51 p.m. It was followed by the City Council meeting. All members were present.
The City Council Consent Agenda was approved, with the exception of one item by Scot Simco, and five items by Council member Perry Shelton. These other items were discussed and also approved. The Consent Agenda included: approval minutes for the Regular City Council Meeting on February 7, 2012. Approval of purchase order for FY 2011-2012 for the General Fund totaling $114,558.39; the Workers Comp Fund totaling $97,414.27; the Economic Development Construction Fund totaling $45,472.40; the Donation Fund totaling $255.00; the Airport Fund totaling $4,392.37; the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund totaling $14,253.06; the Emergency 911 Fund totaling $628.30. Consider approving an estimated payroll for March 1, 2012 as follows: Salaries - $340,273.00; Part Time Wages - $ 13,478.00; Overtime - $ 4,166.85; Contractual Overtime $ 4,766.15; Taxes - $ 28,852.00; Benefits - $124,101.00; Workers Comp - $ 14,375.00; For a total estimated amount of $530,012.00. They acknowledged monthly reports and minutes as follows: CableOne, and Main Street Altus.
The Council members voted to approve Resolution No. 2012-03 amending the FY 2011-2012 Annual Budget by $10,000 to benefit the Operation CARE Program. This is based on the Council’s approval in the Feb. 7 meeting.
The members voted to appoint the City’s representatives for negotiating FY 2012/2013 Collective Bargaining Agreements with both the local chapters of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of FireFighters (IAFF). They are a non-union representative for Police Administration, a representative from Finance, the Human Resources Director, the City Administrator, and the City Attorney.
In executive session the Council discussed the evaluation and the employment of the Public Works Director, Robert Stephenson; the annual contract with the City Attorney, Catherine Coke; and the annual evaluations for the following: Fleet Maintenance Director, Tony Sanchez; the annual evaluation for the Finance Director, Joe Don Dunham; Utility Director (Manager), Janice Berryhill; and the Airport Director, Greg Camp.
In open session, the following was approved: Stephenson’s reclassification to Chief of Operations, without a change in pay; the members acknowledging that Coke’s contract automatically renewed (her contract will be reviewed in August; the evaluation for Dunham was approved and stated it would be made as part of his final record; the evaluations for Sanchez, Berryhill and Camp were approved.
There was no new business and the Mayor made no appointments.
City Administrator, Elizabeth Gray said she watched Dan (Scott)’s crew, Altus Police Department and Emergency Management working in high winds and said they are to be commended. “We have a pretty good team,” Gray said. She also said the drive through window is completed in the Utility Department. The new financial consultant has been chosen from three applications received. James Wilson, from Galveston, may be here next Monday if the contract can be prepared on time. He will prepare a budget, a five-year budget and do budget analysis for the City. Gray said that Dollar General will locate their new facility at 300 S. Main Street in Altus.
City Council member’s comments and reports included:
Jack Smiley said he wishes the City would go to electronic communication to save more trees. He also said that he approved the Airport Director’s evaluation. “Most people don’t see the work Camp and his staff do at 2:30 a.m. in the cold and wind,” Smiley said. He thanked Greg and his staff.
Rick Henry wished everyone a happy “Fat Tuesday”. He’s excited about things in the city. The future is bright. He’s looking forward to seeing others be excited too.
Rick Steen said he’s received some calls about the painting of the aircraft in the City Park.
Mayor Webb said that it’s too cold at night for the paint to adhere properly. In his own comments, Webb said he’d had some good open discussions that day. He was impressed with the level of professionalism he’s seeing.
Just before adjournment, Scot Simco wished to thank the Tobacco Education Committee for their Tobacco Stops With Me activities. “Through their efforts my children won’t smoke either,” Simco said.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.