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The Atoka City Council held their bimonthly meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.
In attendance for the meeting were: Mayor Brian Cathey, Vice-Mayor Diane McGee, Councilmembers Erica Pogue and Pat Turner, City Manager Danny Delay, City Clerk Joye Angel, City Attorney Pat Phelps, and Atoka City Industrial Development Authority Director Carol Ervin.
City Manager Danny Delay presented his report to the council. The water meter project is nearing completion with only 60 meters left to replace. These final meters are the more difficult ones due to needing concrete to be chipped out from around the base.
Councilwoman Erica Pogue approached the topic of water billing. Councilmembers and City employees alike have been contacted about water bills showing higher rates than “normal.”
The main issue arising from billing is the length of time between bills is not consistant. For example, one bill could have a period of three weeks and another six weeks.
The City is working to correct these issues. Delay said that the meters being replaced are 40 to 50 years old.
Mayor Brian Cathey explained that the City is digging up every single meter in Atoka to be replaced. The new meters are sensitive to usage and can detect leaks at a faster rate.
Citizens that have alerted the City to discrepancies have had their meters rechecked.
Currently, the software is still being installed at City Hall.
“Once the systems are up and running, the billing days will be consistent and level off within the next few months,” City Clerk Joye Angel said.
The work on the parks has progressed. Both Johnson and Infantry Park will be receiving new fencing, basketball goals, handicap access, new paint, and new signs.
The tennis courts at Johnson Park have been replaced by two additional basketball courts.
City buildings will be receiving new phones. Two years ago, the City began a contract with Dobson Technologies for internet and phone services.
Recently, Dobson has been able to run fiber into the Downtown area allowing the City to switch from AT&T to Dobson for phone service. The City will be receiving 35 new phones.
The Council approved the fifth invoice payment to Core and Main for the water meter project in the amount of $83,911.50. The project has a remaining balance of $98,348.02 with 60 meters left to replace.
The seventh invoice payment was approved for Wall Engineering for the Water Treatment Plant Project. The invoice billed was in the amount of $35,723.04.
Atoka City Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) Director Carol Ervin was given the go ahead to contract the purchasing of a keyhole property in the amount of $25,000 that will square off the City Hall property lot.
Chase Allen, representing AMG Technology Investment Group Nextlink Internet, put forth a request to enter a lease contract with the Atoka Municipal Authority to place antenna facilities on top of the City’s water tower. The goal of Nextlink is to provide internet service to rural communities.
Allen informed the Council Nextlink had been granted a contract with the Atoka Public Schools to provide their internet, and with distance learning classes that are available to students, the company is trying to bring internet to the children and residents who live out of city limits.
Nextlink is the largest recipient of Connect America Funds. With the installation within city limits the service will reach approximately four to six miles out of city limits. Allen said the next goal is to reach further outside city limits to the smaller communities.
Nextlink was granted a lease contract with the Atoka Municipal Authority in the amount of $200 per month.