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The Atoka City Council held their biweekly meeting on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.
In attendance for the meeting were: Mayor Brian Cathey, Councilmembers Coby Sherrill, Erica Pogue, Pat Turner, City Clerk Joye Angel, Deputy Clerk Phyllis Bates, City Treasurer Kelly Ingram, City Attorney Pat Phelps, and Atoka City Industrial Authority (ACIDA) Director Carol Ervin. City Manager Danny Delay was absent due to being sick.
The Council switched things up by starting with the Atoka Municipal Authority (AMA) meeting. The result of that meeting is further in the article.
Johnny Sandmann has been approved to be the new Community Development Hearing Officer.
The role of the hearing officer would be to hear the cases of residents who have been cited for code violations. The City will begin cracking down on violators.
Mayor Brian Cathey will take a seat on the newly created Tax Increment District (TIF) Board for the Downtown Area. Mayor Cathey will represent the City on the Board. The purpose of the Board is to make decisions on the redevelopment of Atoka’s Downtown area.
The Atoka Industrial Development Authority will attend the TIF District meetings, but will not hold a seat on the Board.
The Council voted to amend City Ordinance No. 569. The amendment would take out the verbiage of requiring the city manager to go before an unofficial council meeting to obtain purchasing permissions.
The new verbiage of the ordinance gives the City Manager permission on purchases from $0 – $20,000; purchases $20,000 – $50,000 require three bids and council approval; purchases $50,000 or more require competitive bids.
The Council approved the resolution of a promissory note to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The resolution pertained to the newest loan request to fund the water meter and plant projects.
During the ACIDA meeting, Director Carol Ervin presented the Council with two bids to repair the parking lot at the ACIDA/Community Center.
City Attorney Pat Phelps advised the Council that due to no other local company providing the third quote required by the ordinance the two quotes would be enough.
The Council voted to accept the quote from 4M Asphalt Ceiling in the amount of $24,520. Councilman Pat Turner abstained from the vote.
A change order was approved with Core and Main LP (limited partnership) due to additional meters being needed to match existing sizes. The change will add an additional $61,350.90 to the contracted price of $588,263.50 bringing the new total to $649,614.40.
Halloween will fall on a Saturday this year. Remember to be respectful of others wishes not to particiapte. If the porch light is off or there is a sign posted the resident is maintaining social distancing and opting out of “trick or treat.”
A possible fireworks show is in the works. The display would be similar to the one hosted on July 4th, but will honor the Veterans on Sunday, November 8th, at the Atoka Sports Complex. The display is not set in stone as of yet, but when more information is given the citizens will be notified.
Currently, the Atoka Municipal Authority has two Rural Development loans, that were created in 2011, in the amount of $3.5 million dollars for sewer system improvements.
The loans still have 31 years left to be paid by 2051.
Due to a collective of communities working on refinancing their loans with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, AMA was able to join the refunding to apply for a FAP (financial assistance program). By itself, AMA would not be able to participate without the joining of the other four or five communities.
By refinancing these two loans, the Atoka Municipal Authority could shave four years off the promissory notes by paying more annually on the loans.
This would save the AMA $160,000 annually for each of those four years.
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board will sell bonds (loans) in November. A premium is generated on these bonds that underwriters will pay more for because of the interest created. An underwriter assesses, evaluates, and assumes the risk for another party or company.
This premium is subject to change, however, the projected premium would lower the amount of money needed to pay off the loans. Instead of $3 million it would lower it to $2.6 million, for example.
This would help the Atoka Municipal Authority close out the loans in 2045 instead of 2051 by raising the annual payment from $167,700 to $171,000. A difference of $3,300.
The difference would save the AMA a gross amount of $567,000 over the life of the loan.
Currently, the loan security agreements require water revenues, a three quarter cent sales tax, a half cent tax from operating sales tax, and 25% of one percent general sales tax as payment.
The new securities agreement would amend that requirement to: water revenues, sewer revenues, sales tax, and additional sales tax.
What does this mean? To the council, it will help the future council members close the City’s loans and notes sooner and save money, thereby, providing citizens with upgraded and improved water and sanitation.
To the citizen, it means the City will work to improve sewer and water resources. It also means that the sewage and solid waste rates will require an increase. These services have not increased since 2010.