The City Council met in Council Chambers for a regular meeting Tuesday evening immediately following the Altus Municipal Authority meeting to consider and vote on items listed on the consent agenda.
During the AMA meeting, minutes from the previous meeting and purchase orders for the Enterprise Fund were approved. The AMA received and considered to acknowledge a briefing on active and proposed infrastructure projects, to provide additional guidance and approval on funding projects, and specific additions and deletions from the list. They voted to receive, consider, and vote on this item on the consent agenda for the next regular meeting, after having been presented with appropriate reports and a prioritized list.
Bob Stephenson addressed the group on the projects including the water treatment plant, waste water project, road and highway projects, sanitation and landfill projects, electrical projects, and water issues including distribution, lines and looking into other potential water sources. During the presentation on the waste water project, councilman Scot Simco said that he felt the process was taking too long, but Stephenson said that the report from the Department of Environmental Quality should be back by Jan. 29, and further action can proceed with the project.
The review, discussion and possible action on new business was null.
Following the AMA meeting, the City Council’s regular meeting began. Approved items on the consent agenda contained minutes from the last meeting, purchase orders for the General Fund, Workers Comp Fund, Airport Fund, and an estimated payroll for 2013. They also acknowledged monthly minutes and reports for Cable One and Fleet Maintenance.
The Council then authorized the agreement for professional services to hire municipal attorney John H. Vincent to advise in drafting a new City Charter. It was decided that assistance to the City Attorney, Council, and elected freeholders as elected on Apr. 2, 2013, would be necessary. Vincent will be paid an hourly rate of $75 plus expenses to advise and attend certain Council and freeholder meetings, and to provide, submit, and revise any drafted documents for the Charter, per contract. A successful Charter will result in a Chartered form of government for the City of Altus, versus the current Aldermanic form of government.
Council discussed and approved the wards and ward boundaries for the City of Altus to continue as they have been, based on the 2010 U.S. census population data.
A special City Council meeting has be scheduled for Feb. 22, at noon, for the purpose of discussing a Council Resolution, the Mayor’s call for a nonpartisan general municipal election to elect a board of freeholders for the drafting of the City Charter, and a freeholder filing period for a general nonpartisan, municipal election, to be held April 2.
Council also approved a request from Van Zandt Supply to allow 0.6’ encroachment in an alley to avoid removal of the building obstruction. Carol Jones and Paul Van Zandt of Van Zandt Supply of Ft. Worth, Texas, were present and expressed their gratitude to the City of Altus and their expectations for company and employee growth. The company provides containment rentals for oil and gas companies, and is said to be a “green” industry.
There was no new business, nor appointments by the Mayor.
City Administrator Elizabeth Gray expressed her gratitude to the street department for their work during the recent snow storm, Councilman Scot Simco said that he really appreciates the teamwork he has seen within the city and their employees, Councilman Rick Henry said that he was excited about the prospects for the City in 2013, and Councilman Jack Smiley spoke the group briefly about continuing to seek use for runoff waste water in view of the current water shortages.
Councilman Rick Steen was absent.