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By Danny Delay
As the weather changes, many of our daily duties will change as well. My staff and I are working on several projects that will make our city look better, and hopefully these will entice our great citizens to want to involve themselves in doing projects around their places to improve their appearances as well.
If the weather will cooperate, we can start producing some results that I can happily report in the coming weeks. I am truly excited about our plans; and, I hope you will be too, as you start to notice them.
We are also working on a citizen of the year award, to be announced at this year’s Christmas Parade. Nomination forms to vote for the person you think is most deserving can be found on our City of Atoka Facebook page, City of Atoka website, Atoka Chamber of Commerce website, or you can pick up a form at City Hall. It will be great to honor someone that has gone above and beyond what was expected of them!
Again, I want to remind everyone, that we are serious about cleaning up the City of Atoka! Code Enforcement officers are currently going around to all places where existing violations are occurring to ensure the landowners are aware of the exact nature of each violation, what they need to do to correct it, and what the consequences will be if they don’t correct it.
This will require every citizen doing their part to make Atoka the beautiful place it can become.
REMINDER!!! In an effort to assist our citizens in cleaning up their properties and getting rid of unwanted items such as trash, brush, etc., we began opening our transfer station on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; starting last Saturday, October 24 through Saturday, November, 28.
If we have enough participation, then we will extend the Saturday openings further. We had eight people take advantage of this last week, and I hope to see these numbers increase, moving forward.
We’ve had several instances where we have worked with citizens on a plan of action to correct whatever code violation was occurring, and we are always willing to work with anyone that is truly making an effort to correct the issue at hand.
Those that ignore their code violations will be subject to fines, hearings, etc. Our intent is to never have to reach this level; but if you continue to simply ignore your code violations, you leave us no choice.
We have given several folks much more time than we have to, and no progress is being made; requiring us to move forward to schedule hearings, have our police officers write fines, and start cleaning up the places ourselves, or bid out the cleaning up of properties.
These include, abandoned/junk vehicles, dilapidated houses/buildings, and places with trash, and overgrown grass, weeds, etc. So, please do your part as a citizen of the City of Atoka!
I am reaching out to all of our citizens to let us know, if you see an area or dwelling, etc., that needs cleaning up or has become a safety issue and so forth. We all deserve to live and work in a clean and safe city; and our goal is to make that happen here in Atoka, as soon as possible.
The Meter Project was to resume last week; but the rain delayed it until hopefully next week. We have around 60 left to install; but these last ones are the toughest ones, requiring more time, due to their locations and previous installations.
The Water Plant staff have been preparing their area for the parts and equipment to arrive that will be used on the refurbishing project that will be starting soon.
Our electrician repaired some wiring issues we were having in the polymer tank. Mowing, spraying, weed eating, and required maintenance is being performed as is required. The Water Plant is running on average twelve hours, and producing 498,000 gallons per day.
The Water/Sewer Maintenance Crew read meters, repaired water leaks, did locates, ran a sewer line on Oregon Street, and cleaned up around some lift stations. They also pulled pumps at the Water Plant, and ran sewer for Water and Sewer Plant drains.
The Wastewater Plant is continually working to reduce the sludge content and running well. They are working on a blockage between the 40 foot clarifier and the Return Activated Sludge (RAS) pumping Station.
They will soon be wasting excess sludge from our digesters to our sludge trailers. Other routine maintenance has been addressed as needed.
The Capital Improvement Crew worked on patching pot holes on several streets in town, cleaned various storm drains, cleaned ditches, picked up trash, cut brush, hauled rock for future projects, cut trees across the highway from the airport and ground the stumps to improve the visibility of the runway.
The Parks Crew has been mowing, spraying, and weed-eating all of the city properties, right-of-ways, medians, and cemeteries. They also finished repairing and cleaning around the west fence at Green Meadows Cemetery. They are also cleaning all of the fence rows around the City Shop Building.
The Atoka Police Department general activity report for the reporting period of 10/13/2020 through 10/26/2020:
The Police Department responded to 230 disturbance and “other” calls for service and related incidents/actions (this does not include traffic stops or traffic contacts).
There were 26 municipal prisoners booked into the Atoka County Jail and 19 Municipal Court Arrest Warrant(s) served. There were 29 Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation National Incident-Based Reporting System Offense Reports filed in the Municipal Clerk’s Office and seven Official Collision Reports filed in the Municipal Clerk’s Office.
There were two Emergency Detention (Mental Health). After initial evaluations and eventual medical clearances at the Atoka County Medical Center, the subjects were transported to mental health facilities in McAlester, and Norman.
Friday, October 16th, Officers from the Coalgate Police Department utilized our firing range to complete their annual mandatory CLEET Firearms Qualifications.
Chief Dodson continued to have weekly video meetings with a policy manual expert from Lexipol regarding the review and analysis of our existing Policy and Procedures Manual. The project is progressing and remains on schedule.
We received notification that the Police Department is receiving a grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance to partially reimburse the purchase of National Institute of Justice compliant armored vests for our Officers.
Routine problems occurred with the other police vehicles and departmental equipment during the referenced period. Repairs and maintenance continued as they normally do.
Animal Control Report
The following numbers were reported from 10/01/20 through 10/26/20.
• Dogs that were picked up by the Animal Control Officer: 6
• “Other” animal contacts or warnings issued: 0
• Dogs that were adopted from the pound: 6
• Dogs that were claimed by their owners: 2
• Dogs that were euthanized: 3
• Animal carcasses that were retrieved for disposal: 5
• Dogs that were being held in the pound: 2
• Dogs that were properly registered according to City Code: 2