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By Danny Delay
My staff and I continue to work on several projects that will improve the look of our great city; and hopefully you have had a chance to notice some of the extra cleaning/brush removal etc. that we have done along several streets; as well as, the new paint project we’ve started at the Underpass.
To get away from the old dirty white look it had; we’re changing the color scheme to give it a fresh look, featuring a brick red (Sun Dried Tomato) on all the concrete sections and a satin black on all the metal parts.
This color scheme will better fit in with our downtown area as we see more progress being made there. We have also completed the restoration of the new basketball courts at both parks, and will be adding new fences around them as soon as we can get new fencing materials. I am truly excited about our plans; and, I hope you will be too, as you start to notice them.
Due to the increased number of cases of Covid-19 in Atoka County, beginning on Monday, November, 16, our lobby at City Hall will be closed until further notice.
Bill paying will be done by using our drop box or online at Pay Station. If you need assistance or additional information, please call City Hall at 889-3341. We appreciate your understanding during these unprecedented times!
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, or Atoka Chamber of Commerce website. 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.; beginning Saturday, October 24, through Saturday, November, 28.
If we have enough participation, then we will extend the Saturday openings further. We only had seven and four people take advantage of this the last two Saturdays, 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 or weeds. 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 unfortunately, we have been short handed due to COVID-19 concerns. We hope to resume it on Monday, November 16.
The Water Plant staff received the parts needed and have begun repairing Trane #2, so that both tranes will be functioning properly. This should be completed next week. Crews have arrived with equipment and have started doing dirt work and the beginning of the refurbishing of our Water Plant. The Water Plant is running on average twelve hours, and producing 486,000 gallons per day.
The Water/Sewer Maintenance Crew read meters, repaired water leaks, did locates, unstopped the sewer lines on Maple Street and Thirteenth Street.
The Wastewater Plant is continually working to reduce the sludge content and running well. They repaired one of the blowers, had a new blower drive installed, and repaired the 40 foot clarifier. 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, did some dozer work on a fence row, repaired a fence, and cut brush and trees across the highway from the airport to improve the visibility of the runway. They also assisted with the Homecoming Parade.
The Parks Crew has started the Underpass renovation project; which includes power washing, cleaning, building new metal railing and painting it.
I hope you have had a chance to see the progress so far and like the changes we’re making. They also repaired the door on the drop box at the Library, and some cleaning and maintenance at the City Shop Building.
The Atoka Police Department general activity report for the reporting period of 10/27/2020 through 11/10/2020:
The Police Department responded to 277 disturbance and “other” calls for service and related incidents/actions (this does not include traffic stops or traffic contacts). There were 21 municipal prisoners booked into the Atoka County Jail and four Municipal Court Arrest Warrant(s) served.
There were 25 Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation National Incident Based Reporting System Offense Reports filed in the Municipal Clerk’s Office and five 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 Wagoner.
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. To date, they have thoroughly reviewed and amended thirty different policies.
Wednesday, October 28th, Officers attended a First Responder Appreciation lunch prepared at the Atoka Fire Station #1. The lunch was provided by the Atoka Coal Baptist Association.
On Friday, October 30th, Chief Dodson discovered that the two GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) electrical outlets in the Lake Patrol Boat shed were not working. He contacted an electrician with Global Technologies and repairs were made the same day. The electric supply is required to maintain the battery system in the boat.
Saturday, October 31st, Sergeant Jimmy Taylor and Patrolmen Jedediah Griffith and Chase Franklin, along with Court Clerk Veronica McDaniel and the officers’ spouses held a “Trunk or Treat” in the east parking lot of the police department. The event was a huge success and was held from approximately 4:45 pm to 7:00 pm.
Nearly one thousand children passed through the event. Personnel from Atoka County EMS, Atoka Fire Department, Hopewell Fire Department, Tushka Fire Department, US Department of Forestry Services and Mullins Wrecker Service also participated in the event.
All of the candy and items given away by the Police Department were provided by private donations from Police Department employees, individual citizens and Walmart. I greatly appreciate everyone that helped make this event such a success for our children.
Wednesday, November 4th, Officers from the Coal County Sheriffs Department utilized our firing range to complete their annual mandatory CLEET Firearms Qualifications.
On Thursday, November 5th, Captain Brian Snead and Chief Dodson attended Retirement Readiness/Financial Planning for Today training in McAlester. The class was a CLEET Accredited Continuing Education training course.
Friday, November 6th, several officers assisted with float escorts, traffic control and other activities related to the annual Atoka Homecoming parade.
Chief Dodson attended a meeting with Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Engineers at the Atoka Community Center regarding an upcoming project to upgrade and replace all three of the existing traffic control systems on Highway 69.
Tuesday, November 10th, Chief Dodson met with two technicians from Dobson Technologies regarding the upgrade and replacement project for the telephone system at the Police Department.
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 11/01/20 through 11/10/20:
• Dogs that were picked up by the Animal Control Officer: 1
• “Other” animal contacts (or) warnings issued: 1
• Dogs that were adopted from the pound: 0
• Dogs that were claimed by their owners: 0
• Dogs that were euthanized: 0
• Animal carcasses that were retrieved for disposal: 1
• Dogs that were being held in the pound: 2
• Dogs that were properly registered according to City Code: 0.