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Monday, June 15, 2020, the Atoka City Council meeting was called to begin at 6 p.m. by Mayor Brian Cathey.
In attendance at City Hall were: Mayor Brian Cathey, Vice-Mayor Diane McGee, Interim City Manager Joye Angel, Deputy City Clerk Phyllis Bates, and City Attorney Pat Phelps. Joining the meeting via Zoom were Councilmembers Erica Pogue and Coby Sherrill, and Atoka City Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) Director Carol Ervin. Councilman James Thornley was absent.
Interim City Manager Joye Angel presented her report to the council. Angel stated the water meter project was up and running. Contractors began work on Monday, June 15, to replace the city water meters with the new automatic models.
Workers will not enter citizens homes, but will notify residents when replacing the meter. If there is no answer a door knocker will be left. The project is expected to take some time to complete with the work contract valid through February 2021.
Blanket purchases were approved with the pending exception of the City Attorney’s retainer fees. Phelps advised the council the invoice was being corrected.
The City Council discussed the use of fireworks within city limits. It is prohibited (illegal) to set off fireworks within the city limits of Atoka without the City’s permission.
There is currently no plans to have a firework display in the City.
The Southern Oklahoma Development Association (SODA) is in need of a new board member. Due to the previous City Manager, Jayne Hughes, resigning the position was left open for the council to appoint someone new.
Councilwoman Erica Pogue nominated Angel to take the place on the SODA board until a new City Manager could be hired or circumstances change. Angel accepted the nomination and the council approved her placement.
Hughes was also removed as an authorized signatures on all city accounts.
The council approved Angel’s request to apply for a grant to replace an existing waterwaste line in the alleyway of Velma and Melba Avenues. The grant will be for $52,000 through the Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) Fund.
Delta has completed the inspection of the airport. The Municipal Airport opened for business Thursday, June 11. Senator Inhofe complimented the City on the upgrades when he landed on Friday, June 12.
The council approved a quote from QTpod for a self service fueling terminal at the airport. The quoted amount was from the previous year at $12,795. The current system is done more than is operational. Atoka stands as a prominent refueling stop for small aircraft.
QTpod honored the original quote, and will take the old system as a trade. The current fuel system was installed in 2005; the City paid $13,202 when it was first installed.
Angel has been approved to advertise for bids to repair the basketball courts at the Atoka City parks.
Vice-Mayor Diane McGee read a special thanks to the City Workers, Police, Supporters, and Opposers of the Unity Peace Protest that was held Saturday, June 6 in Atoka.
ACIDA Director Carol Ervin presented her report to the council.
Project Gladieux is back up and running. The equipment that had been diverted to Shreveport, Louisiana is on its way to Atoka. The plant manager and his family are currently looking for a home to suit their needs.
“What helps Atoka is that we’re within two hours of four major markets,” Ervin commented. Project Ship will begin the process over with the Pacific railroad next year. Atoka was unable to meet the 100 car minimum by the deadline on Wednesday, June 17.
Atoka has not lost a project during the COVID-19 shutdown. However, project C1A is pushed out to a later date as investors concentrate on markets in Pennsylvania.
Ervin is waiting on the final renderings from the architects before being able to present the Downtown Vision project update to the council.
Ervin also presented the Sports Complex report to the council. Since re-opening May 15 the Complex has hosted 300 games.
Due to the heat, the sprinkler system pump will be replaced at a cost of $2,000. The part was picked up in McAlester on Tuesday, June 16.