It was decided during the Altus Municipal Authority Tuesday evening that a $2 per month fee would be added to the City’s current trash collection fees to help purchase new sideloaders. The fee would be $2 per household, and $2 per business dumpster. City Attorney Catherine Coke said that a new ordinance on the matter would be presented at the next meeting.
The matter of raising fees to the City’s monthly utility bill to cover additional debt service costs for necessary improvements to the water utilities was also discussed. The money would be to help pay for the $2.3M water lines, $100,000 Round Timber project, and $2.8M for the main sewer plant. The matter was only discussed, and no votes or decisions were made.
All council members voted yes to employ an engineering firm to perform a rate study/cost analysis of the water, wastewater and sanitation services. It was said that the study should take about four to six months to complete. Altus City Manager David Fuqua said that this is something that needs to be done, “We have to get them right,” he said during the discussion.
All other items on the AMA agenda were approved, including the consent agenda, a bid for the vehicle detection system for the N. Main and Tamarack Road; the repair of 10 transformers; and the lowest and best bid to construct a new 5-acre landfill cell.
The regular City Council meeting immediately followed. The meeting started by Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy recognizing three officers from the Altus Police Department. Before talking about the officers, he stated, “I am also very proud of every single officer for what they do for our community each and every day. It is an honor to lead them.”
Recognized were Deputy Chief Bill Perkins who graduated from the 260th session of the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. on June 12; Sgt. Don Wood who was recently selected as the American Legion Oklahoma Law Officer of the Year; and Sgt. Brad Edmonds who was recently selected as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Oklahoma Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
All items on the agenda were approved. They included a budgeted item for accounting services; transferring a police department K9 dog without a handler to the Sheriff’s office where they have a handler with no dog; declaring a piece of street equipment that parts are no longer available for as surplus; and an amendment to a budgeted item concerning a backhoe.
There were several items all related to a 2015 CDBG Small Cities Set Aside Grant that was presented by Barbara Burris. She said that the matching funds money would be used for demolition. All items passed, with Councilman Henry voting no on each of the items.
A new housing addition was discussed and an agreement made for a 70 units of single-family and duplex housing with a shared cost public bridge/street. The housing addition is to fullfill the city’s commitment to provide housing for those coming in with the KC46 training mission at Altus Air Force Base. The lower cost housing addition will be all-electric, with no alleys. Trash will be picked up at the curb with rolling carts. It was said that the housing addition will have sidewalks on one side of the streets, and will include walking trails and parks.
Altus Chamber of Commerce President Brian Bush was on hand and said that this housing addition will show our commitment to the Air Force, and that it will also make up a little over half of the housing shortage.
“This addition will provide 10 rentals and 60 homes for sale,” he said. “With another 30 units in development, plus others, this will get to within about 10 units of our goal,” he added.
All council members voted yes.
The agreement for the housing addition is between the City of Altus and Rodger Kerr, administrator of the estate of Robert Kerr, deceased, and Jed Winters, and Wintree Homes, developer.
In his comments to the council, Bush said that he was here to show support for the project. He also added, “The way we are handling the water, and housing, is being used as an example of how to do things.”
After the mayor’s appointments, which included the re-appointment of Municipal Judge Ken Darby for a two-year term, and re-appointment of Alternate Municipal Court Judge and Juvenile Judge Phil Olson for a two-year term, the meeting adjourned.
Reach Michael Bush at email@example.com