The Chouteau Town Council and Public Works Authority met Monday night. With the exception of council member David Morgan who arrived late, all members were present.
The council approved renewing Humana Dental for the city employees’ dental plan on a 20-month rate.
Sarah Rankhorn of Grand Gateway was on hand as the town made final approval on the Capital Improvement Plan Toolkit. Rankhorn said it has taken a year and eight months to complete the five-year CIP. An inventory of all municipal infrastructure was made for the plan. The council approved the CIP toolkit providing up to date information about the town and its infrastructure.
Rankhorn presented maps of the town to the council. These maps contain information on streets and water and sewer lines. The council approved the maps.
Rankhorn then presented hard-bound CIP toolkits, 27 CIP maps of the town, nine CIP maps for the utility department and five CDs of all toolkit data on spreadsheets. The council acknowledged receipt of these items.
The town clean-up day is set for April 21.
The council approved providing two dumpsters for the clean-up day at $325 each. In addition to the dumpsters provided by the town, the Bank of Commerce will be providing one dumpster.
The council approved Ordinance No. 2012-1 stating any drug or alcohol abuse fines shall not exceed $750, with $50 going to defray costs relating to enforcement of juvenile alcohol use.
The council discussed Ordinance No. 2012-2 amending 14-46 of the town code setting a fine of $500 for failure to remove garage sale signs after the sale has taken place. It was recommended the town change the fine to $25 per violation. No action was taken.
The council met in executive session and returned about 10 minutes later. The council agreed to pay Chouteau Deputy Court Clerk Constance D. Baker $505 per pay period, for a total of $1,010 per month. Baker requested the council change her status from hourly to salaried.
The council agreed to raise the pay of Cpl. Mike Reese, who is the police department’s K-9 handler, by 50 cents per hour, retroactive to the first of this month.
The council approved sending Keith Brandon to a Technical Rescue Class at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater May 7-11. The class is free, but the council was asked to reimburse Brandon for motel and food for the five days.
In the mayor’s report, Jerry Floyd said the budget meeting will be at 9 a.m. Monday. Floyd said the town is running out of money. The mayor said that the town is operating on a 3 percent sales tax. Floyd said the town’s bank account went down $9,000 in March and he called for renewed austerity.
“We’re going to have to really watch what we do with our budget and how we spend our money. We are going to come on hard times if we don’t do something about it,” Floyd said.
Under new business, council member Brenda Cunningham said she has had many complaints about the stop lights in the town. People have complained the lights take too long to change.
The PWA board approved the consent agenda. The PWA approved the same dental plan as the one provided to town employees by Humana Dental.
The PWA approved the purchase of manhole covers from Scurlock Industries for $1,100.
The PWA approved purchase of five new radios for the PWA vehicles in the amount of $1,620. These radios had to be purchased with the federal order that megahertz band width be lowered for government radios.
PWA Superintendent John Crowson spoke about repairs to a sewer line along Orr Street. Crowson said employee Ricky Allen left his job with the PWA to find different work. Crowson said Bobby Pinero will be back to work for the PWA. Pinero has been in Afghanistan.
Under new business, PWA board member Frank Klucevsek wanted to know why some of the trash had not been picked up.
Klucevsek had received complaints that some people are not getting all their trash hauled away. Residents have left extra items out by the trash that had not been collected.
Klucevsek asked why natural gas bills in town are going up when the price of natural gas everywhere else had been going down.
Floyd said that he did not know why this was happening, and he would have to ask the town gas vendor.