The council denied a claim filed by Preston Farms Inc., Tyson Foods, Simmons Foods and Willow Brook Foods. City Attorney Park Medearis said the city is one of several entities receiving a claim. He said his opinion is that the city has neither directly nor indirectly done anything to pollute the Illinois River or the Illinois River watershed.
Medearis said the claims were brought on by action initiated by Attorney General Drew Edmondson to get chicken producers to contain chicken litter...Tahlequah Press.
Councilors get first peek at new city budget
By BOB GIBBINS, Press Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 4, 2005 8:55 AM CDT
Tahlequah city councilors got their first look Monday night at Mayor Ken Purdy's proposed $7.9 million budget.
Purdy said the city intends to have a public hearing on the proposed document at the special council meeting in two weeks. The new budget will take effect July 1.
The proposed budget includes a $600 annual pay hike for full-time employees and also calls for the creation of a director of planning and development position at a salary of $45,000. Expenditures for the Purchasing Department have been moved to other departments. The salary and fringe benefits were moved to the managerial department to fund the new finance support officer position to be filled by Linda Flatt.
Purdy said the proposal includes continuation of such programs as employee longevity and the employee wellness program at Health Plex. Purdy has also recommended the city continue funding of employee health insurance.
No action can be taken on the budget until after the public hearing.
Ed Fite, representing the Cherokee Nation's Environmental Protection Commission, and Randy Gee, of CN's Environmental Services department, presented Purdy with a $1,000 check payable to the city showing the tribe's support of the 2005 Community Clean-Up Day and Household Pollutant Collection event.
The council agreed to award a bid to Abatement Systems for painting on the west side renovation project. Abatement Systems is an abatement contractor and the low bidder at $630,984. The project will begin after high school commencement and is expected to take 60 days.
Money needed above the amount the $2 million sales tax raised for the Gable Field renovation project will be paid by the university and through private donations, Tim Foutch told the council.
The council also gave the green light to a Historical Preservation Advisory Board recommendation to approve the Certified Local Government application. Beth Herrington, speaking for the advisory board, said the council has approved the application each year since 1997.
"It's a modest investment," Purdy said of the city's $2,000 cost for the application.
In a related matter, Kate Kelly was approved as a new member of the Historical Preservation Advisory Board replacing Donna Harris. The council later approved Mike McIntosh as a new member of the Abatement Board, replacing Jeanne Varner, whose term expired. Purdy said the ordinance creating the Abatement Board allows councilors to have appointments to the board.
Councilors also voted to approve a change order in Cardinal Engineering's contract for wetlands delineation concerning the city's transfer station site permit. An agreement for renting office space to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at 311 S, Muskogee was also approved.
The council also created a Norris Park Improvement Fund with funds derived from private donations and transfers from the general fund. The monies will only be used for improvements in Norris Park.
After an executive session, the council voted to transfer Billy Blair from the Maintenance Department to the compliance officer position. Purdy said the competition was challenging for that position and the finance support position given to Flatt.
Tracy Lee was hired as a part-time senior lifeguard, and Diana Lewis was hired as a part-time lifeguard.
The council also agreed to reallocate $15,000 to cover the cost of a settlement in the Miller vs. City of Tahlequah suit.
The next meeting of the Tahlequah City Council will be a special session on Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.