Special recognition was given to retiring Altus Firefighters: Steven Davis (12 years), Tom Meacham (25 ½ years), Clay Richardson (28 years), J. R. Wheeler (30 ½ years), Johnny Conrad (31 years), and Tommy Sadler (40 years). Chief Wheeler spoke of his honor to serve with these men and the whole staff of Altus Fire Department. Wheeler also thanked his wife, Melanie Wheeler, for all of her support.
Jeff Steeley of CenterPoint Energy presented a check for $2,450 from for a community partnership grant to purchase radios and adaptors for the Altus Fire Department.
The Consent Agenda was approved. This included: approval of the minutes for the Altus Municipal Authority Meeting on June 5, approval of the claim from Pro Presenters, Inc., for $19,093.63 for mounting hardware, cable and connectors, etc. for the Altus High School renovation and addition to be paid from (MAPS) Sales Tax Revenue Note, Series 2008, approval of a claim from Joe D. Hall, General Contractor for $237,052.00 for the Altus High School renovation and addition to be paid from MAPS, approval of a claim from Boynton-Williams & Associates, for construction oversight in the total amount of $4,720.49 for the Altus High School renovation and addition to be paid from MAPS, approval of purchase orders for FY 2011-2012 for the Enterprise Fund totaling $1,933,573.53.
The trustees voted to approve Resolution No. 2012-18 amending the FY 2011-2012 Annual Budget. Funds are expected to come from the Emergency Stabilization Fund and if necessary Capital Reserve Fund in order to close out FY 2011-2012.
The trustees approved: 1) Resolution No. 2012-11, as amended, approved at the June 5, 2012 Meeting, adopting the combined budgets of the City of Altus for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 including but not limited to the Enterprise Fund; and 2) Utilities rates for water, electric, sewer, sanitation (trash pickup, flat bed service, landfill) current rates and suggestions for revised rates for FY 2012-2013.
They voted five to three, failing to repeal the so-called ten / ten budget. Yes votes would have repealed the Resolution No. 2012-11, as amended, and adopting in its place resolution which would adopt the previous budget version known as the “10% personnel cost reduction / 15% utility revenue increase” budget version, containing the combined budgets of the City of Altus for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 including but not limited to the Enterprise Fund. “Yes” votes were: B.F. Rowland, Rick Steen, and Mike Patterson. “No” votes were Jack Smiley, Scot Simco, Perry Shelton, Chad Osborne, and Rick Henry. The ten percent reduction in personnel services / ten percent utilities revenue increases budget was approved. (See the Altus Times tomorrow for further budget explanation from James Wilson, the City Finance Director’s update to the trustees during the meeting.)
The trustees voted to accept an offer from Enercon Services, Inc. for disposal of contaminated soil classified as “NHIW” (Non Hazardous Industrial Waste) at the City Landfill with tipping fees set at the fixed rate of $45 per ton. Sanitation Director Kenny Combs explained this soil would take about three months off the life of the landfill, but he has saved a place for this disposal which would bring $750,000 to the City. There would be about $40,000 in expenses, which would be taken off the top. Remaining funds would be put toward a new landfill cell.
Due at least in part to the recent water emergency, the trustees voted to approve, 1) repair of a 30” and 20” raw water line which feeds the south portion of the treatment plant as an emergency; 2) add the specification and design to the existing Agreement with SBC Consulting Engineers; 3) waive the 21 day bid process and authorize a 10 day period to accept quotes for repairs; and 4) authorize the Chairman to sign a contract with the firm providing the most advantageous provisions for the City as determined by the Purchasing Agent, Finance Director and Legal adviser or bring back at a future meeting for AMA approval. The total price is estimated to be $65,000 to $100,000.
There was no new business.
The AMA meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m. and the Altus City Council meeting began.
The council approved the Consent Agenda five to three. The three dissenting votes were from Osborne, Henry and Smiley. The Consent Agenda included: approval of the minutes for the Special Council Retreat Meeting on May 17, approval of the minutes for the Regular City Council Meeting on June 5,approval of the purchase orders for FY 2011-2012 for the General Fund totaling $162,201.17, the Workers Comp Fund totaling $34,680.00, the Assurance Fund totaling $163,614.88, the Donation Fund totaling $85.00, the Airport Fund totaling $4,551.26, the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund totaling $17,259.43, the Street & Alley Fund totaling $1,490.00, and an estimated payroll for June 21, 2012 as follows: Salaries - $349,135.00, Part Time Wages - $ 13,220.00, Overtime - $ 6,125.46, Contractual OT - $ 12,923.08, Incentive, License Pay - $ 7,243.00, Employer Paid Taxes - $ 25,202.00,Employee Paid Taxes - $ 66,389.72, Employer Paid Benefits - $124,804.00, Employee Paid Benefits - $ 55,447.64,Workers Comp - $ 14,922.00, for a total estimated amount of: $675,411.90; Payroll figures for May 24 by prior estimate and actual: Salaries - $348,358.00 $349,887.49, Part Time Wages - $ 13,856.00 $ 11,386.10, Overtime - $ 6,125.46 $ 8,746.77, Contractual OT - $ 12,923.08 $ 13,965.09, Incentive, License Pay - $ 7,163.00 $ 7,169.17, ER Paid Taxes - $ 29,941.00 $ 23,806.44, ER Paid Benefits - $124,746.00 $129,533.11, EE Paid Benefits - $ 55,266.81 $ 56,961.14,Workers Comp - $ 14,977.00 $ 16,175.25, for a total amount of: $683,254.85 $685,598.56, percentage of difference 0.35% higher than prior estimate, acknowledge monthly reports and minutes as follows: CableOne, City and School Swimming Pool, Fleet Maintenance Fuel Report, and the renewal of annual, standard leases as follows: Southwest Oklahoma Community Action - Lincoln Center, Southwest Oklahoma Community Action - Seg Hove Center, Addendum to Contract for Services for euthanasia services for the various communities as follows: Blair, Cache, Eldorado, Elmer, Olustee and Snyder, extending the Contract for another year at the price of $20 per animal (same price as 2011).
In a companion item to the AMA, the council members voted to approve Resolution No. 2012-19 amending the FY 2011-2012 Annual Budget. Funds are expected to come from the Emergency Stabilization Fund and if necessary Capital Reserve Fund in order to close out FY 2011-2012.
In the AMA, trustees were given the choice between voting for (reaffirming) the ten / ten budget, ten percent decrease of personnel services and ten percent increase of utility revenue, or voting to approve the ten / fifteen budget with a ten percent decrease of personnel services and 15 percent increase utility revenue. The council reaffirmed the ten / ten budget by approving Resolution No. 2012-20 or , which will adopt the combined budgets of the City of Altus for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 including but not limited to the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Capital Project Funds, and Internal Service Funds. The vote was five to three, with “yes” votes by: Shelton, Smiley, Simco, Osborne, and Henry. “No” votes were made by Steen, Patterson and Rowland.
The council received and acknowledged a report from the office of District Attorney, John Wampler regarding activities and accomplishments of the Drug Task Force for the past year. They voted to approve Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Altus and the District 3 Task Force for a Multi-Jurisdiction Drug Task Force for the period July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Simco thanked Wampler for the money for the drug dog purchase. Mayor Webb said he appreciates the work of the Drug Task Force in the community.
They approved 1) a contract for services for $10,000 for funds to be used for payroll expenses; to be paid in two installments in the months of July, 2012 and January, 2013 for services provided by the American Red Cross; and 2) Addendum to Renewal Lease between the City of Altus and the American Red Cross Southwest Oklahoma Chapter for three rooms at the Wilson Center, for a five-year term, subject to termination by either party effective June 30 of any calendar year for $1.00 a year rent plus providing free CPR training to City employees annually during the lease term.
The council voted to approve Resolution No. 2012-21 expressing support and intent to renew a Contract for Administration of Emergency Telephone Service with Altus-Jackson County E-911 Regional Trust Authority.
They voted on recommendation to award Property Insurance to the lowest, best and most responsible bidder, the Oklahoma Municipal Insurance Group.
The council voted to approve two related items. The first, Ordinance No. 2012-12 amended the Retirement System Defined Benefits Plan of the City of Altus, Oklahoma by providing a special retirement option for certain eligible employees based on the age and years of credited service of such employees, providing for severability; and 2) the emergency section. This, according to Matt Coppock, “authorizes the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund to implement the special retirement option to eligible employees.” In the related issue, the item approved the Altus City Code to add the subsection offering special retirement option. The council voted to approve Ordinance No. 2012-13 amending Section 22-20, Article II, Chapter 22 of the Altus City Code 1980 by adding a special retirement option for certain eligible employees based on the age and years of credited service of such employees; providing for severability. The council also approved the emergency section for the Ordinance and set an effective date of June 19, 2012 for it.
Resolution No. 2012-22 was proposed to amending Sections 704 and 101 of the City’s Employees’ Policies and Procedures Manual by “freezing annual step increases for Fiscal Year 2012-2013” for both employees and Department Heads; not applying automatically to those employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (IAFF, firefighters and FOP, police); being effective July 1, 2012. This hiring freeze was approved by council.
The council voted to acknowledge / approve a request from an employee to receive a lump sum payment of retirement benefits.
They also voted to acknowledge / approve a request from an employee to receive a disability retirement.
The council voted to authorize the hiring of two persons who will be related to the appeal hearing of City employee Dan Scott. The hiring of John Vincent, attorney, will serve as legal adviser to the City Council at the rate of $75 per hour, plus expenses. This was approved by a vote of five to three, with Osborne, Smiley and Henry dissenting. Young Reporting Services, Inc. or a substitute, will be a court reporter for a portion of the hearing. This was approved.
There was no executive session, as the negotiation updates for the IAFF and FOP were not given.
There was no new business.
Mayor David Webb made no appointments.
City Administrator Elizabeth Gray said that the staff had worked very hard on the budget and the Reduction in Force. She appreciated that and understood it was a hard but necessary action.
In City Council member’s comments and reports:
Rick Henry said, “Thunder up!”
Scot Simco said he had a call from a man requesting there be more fish added to the reservoir.
Jack Smiley said he wanted to help squelch a rumor that the ten/ten budget would result in more people being laid off from the City. (All three budget models contained an identical ten percent reduction in personnel services.) He said the two are unrelated and this rumor is not true. Also, Smiley asked that in the next agenda they remove the OML contract from next year’s budget.
Perry Shelton made an oft quoted statement regarding Altus’s financial situation, “We didn’t get in this mess overnight; we won’t get out overnight.” Then he added, “This requires making good choices and with God’s help we can do that. God bless Altus Air Force Base and Altus.”
Mayor Webb’s comments and reports echoed Shelton’s’ sentiment. With hard work, we’ll get through this. We can find common ground. The budget passed and we’ll have to watch every penny. Webb said he has confidence in James Wilson. Webb thanked department heads and employees for their work. “We’ll do our best,” Webb concluded.
The meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.