Local resident Angela Hargess spoke to the Chouteau Town Council concerning Muskogee Youth Services opening a home for troubled youth.
Mayor Jerry Floyd said the facility is in the planning stage. “Right now it’s a dead issue,” Floyd said.
Floyd said the house the Youth Services wants is not suitable to move into. Town attorney Ben Sherrer said before the Youth Service house could be opened in Chouteau, notice would have to be made to all homes within a quarter-mile radius of the property.
Floyd said a public hearing would have to be scheduled to discuss the proposed home. “If the public is not for it, it won’t happen.” Floyd said.
The council approved regular municipal elections for April 2, 2013.
The council approved notifying Ruby Croft, who has dilapidated property along South Railroad Street, that the property needs to be repaired or condemned.
In a similar move, the council approved sending a notice to the owner of a vacant lot on South Railroad Street which needs mowing and cleaning.
The council agreed to tear down a house at 202 South McCracken St. which has been condemned for two years.
The council approved James Garner as a new volunteer firefighter.
The council tabled action on approving payment of $1,800 to US Highway 69 Designs for firefighter recruitment banners, posters and vehicle decals. This motion to table came at the request of Fire Chief Ted Key.
The council approved sending Key and Keith Brandon to the Oklahoma Fire Chief Association winter workshop on Jan. 23 to 25, 2013, at a cost of $150 plus hotel rooms. The money will be taken out of the General Fire Fund.
The council approved purchase of four firefighter jackets to be taken from Special Ops Uniforms of Tulsa. The cost is $316.50 for a total of $1,266.00.
“These aren’t coats we use for a structural fire. These are coats we wear when we go out on a regular call. They have reflectors on them and help keep blood-borne pathogens off of you. It kills me how expensive things are these days,” Key said.
The council accepted the resignation of Sgt. Rod Howell who is to go to work for sheriff-elect Mike Reed once he is sworn into office in January.
Floyd called Howell, “A long-time serving officer and a good man.”
The council approved paying Howell half his sick leave (amounting to 23 days) on Dec.14 and the remaining sick leave days on Dec. 31.
The council approved surplusing former Police Chief Gary Shrum’s Glock gun Model 23C pistol serial number FXT894 and giving it to Shrum for his 29 years of service with the Chouteau Police. Shrum announced in November that he was retiring from the police force to work for Reed. Floyd said he wants to give Shrum his badge.
The council went into executive decision and emerged about 25 minutes later to announce the promotion of Travis Cox as sergeant with a three-month evaluation period.
Chad Nave of the Locust Grove Police Department was hired as an officer. Chouteau agreed to pay Locust Grove $5,220 to release Nave. Nave was under a year out of Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certification with Locust Grove. At November’s meeting, Locust Grove decided in order to release Nave, another town would have to pay $5,220, which was the amount the town spent for Nave to acquire CLEET certification.
Floyd said a new electrical shop is opening in town, and the owner is building a privacy fence.