City Commission Meeting Minutes
Ponca City Now - October 15, 2013 12:30 pm
October 15, 2013
Craig Stephenson, City Manager
The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, October 14.
After Mayor Nicholson called the meeting to order, Pastor Mark Berry of Eastern Heights Christian Church led the invocation, followed by the pledge of allegiance.
Ceremonies and Proclamations
Next a video for the October Character Trait “patience” was presented. The video defined patience as “accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it” and provided three helpful suggestions for practicing patience “cool down, get perspective, and be productive”.
City Manager Craig Stephenson reminded everyone that the Great American Shakeout is being held on Thursday, October 17 at 10:17 a.m. The City will be participating with the Emergency Management Director sending out a text message.
The groundbreaking for the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza is set for Friday, October 25 at 10 a.m. and Goblins on Grand will be next Thursday, October 24, in front of City Hall.
The City received the Ponca City’s Main Street Volunteer of the Month for the month of October 2013. This is in recognition of all the work that the various departments of the City provide to the Main Street program.
He also reported that City staff has installed all of the new Wi-Fi radios that were recently purchased. Speeds and users are up along with usage, and will get better once we have received the upgraded bandwidth, which is going from 300 Meg to 500 Megahertz. This should be done by November 14. As of today there are 17,000 unique users and pushing approximately 43.8 terabytes of data a month.
The Water Treatment Plant started its fall basin maintenance activities on October 11. The lime softening system was taken offline that day. Customers who are sensitive to water hardness were notified in advance. ? The maintenance program includes draining, inspection, power washing, vacuuming, and minor repairs of Rapid Mix Chamber, Flocculators, Clarifiers, Gravity Thickener, and Backwash Tank. The whole process will take a month, with the plant resuming normal operation on November 11.
SB 501 becomes effective on November 1 and permits cities to regulate smoking on property it owns. Staff will be bringing this item to the City Commission for consideration adoption of an ordinance authorizing departments to install “No Smoking” signs on property under their control.
Stephenson reported that the Ponca City Police Department will be sending Officer Ben Garrison to Indiana, to choose the new K9 officer for the Department. Training will begin on October 28; this will be a great addition to the police force.
Mayor Nicholson and Stephenson will the 2013 Oklahoma Academy Town Hall titled “Moving Oklahoma Improving Our Transportation Infrastructure.” This event will be held Sunday, October 27, through Wednesday, October 30, in Norman; so neither Nicholson nor Stephenson will be present for the regular Commission meeting scheduled for October 28.
Under new business, the City Commission voted to approve awarding a contract in the amount of $253,129.70 to Evans and Associates Construction Company for the mill and overlay of Prospect Avenue, 5th to 14th Street. The project will begin just east of 5th Street and will end at the concrete section of Prospect approximately 380 feet west of 14th Street. The project will include 2¾” cold milling and replacement of 10,660 square yards of asphalt, re-installation of traffic loops on the westbound approach at the signal at 5th and Prospect, and new traffic striping. The project is expected to start in late October with a total contract time of 30 calendar days. Bid advertisement began on September 12, 2013. Invitations to bid were sent to four companies. Bids were opened on October 3, 2013. One bid was received. Funding for this project will come from the street improvement sales tax.
Next, the City Commission voted to approve awarding a contract in the amount of $167,120.81 to Evans and Associates Construction Company for “Street Improvement Project, Fairview Street – Patton Drive to Bradley Avenue”. This project is for the mill and overlay of Fairview Street from Patton Drive to Bradley Avenue. The improvements scheduled include 5,096 square yards of cold-milling asphalt 2.75 inches deep, 714 tons of 2.50 inch asphalt overlay, removing and replacing 760 linear feet of concrete curb and gutter and 100 square yards of driveway replacement. Bids were opened for this project on Thursday, October 3. The low bid from Evans and Associates is $1,608.56 (less than 1%) higher than the engineers estimate. This project is funded through the City Street Sales Tax Maintenance fund. It is anticipated that the work order will be issued with a start date in late October. This is a 30 calendar day construction project.
The City Commission then voted to approve the submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) in the amount of $276,910 for the purchase of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus Replacement Program and execute a Letter of Commitment for local cost share. The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is to enhance the ability of first responders to protect the health and safety of the public from fire and related hazards. The City of Ponca City and Ponca City Fire Department are eligible applicants for these grant funds. The Development Services Department and Fire Department staffs have been analyzing this grant opportunity and have been working to be in a position to submit a grant application by the end of October. Due to the government shutdown, AFG has advised that it is still positioned to accept applications this year; however, the FEMA team is on furlough, and the AFG Helpdesk is currently closed. Any inquiries related to past or upcoming FEMA grants, current awards and report processes will not be responded to until they return to work. It is suggested that applicants continue to prepare for the opening of the grant award. The City’s grant proposal/application consists of the replacement of 30 SCBA units; acquisition of 25 spare cylinders and replacement of 70 air masks. The current equipment is nearing its life expectancy. There were 6 SCBA units purchased in 2000, and 24 units were purchased in 2002. There were 6 of the spare cylinders purchased in 2000, and 19 were purchased in 2002. New air masks will be required to be purchased, as existing masks cannot be retrofitted to accommodate the new SCBA equipment. The AFG Grant program requires a 90:10 cost share. A cost estimate has been prepared for the above items, and staff has determined that a request of $249,219 in federal funds plus $27,691 in local match for a project total of $276,910 will be required.
The Commission then recessed to the Ponca City Utility Authority Meeting.
Ponca City Utility Authority
The Commission voted to approve the write off of Ponca City Utility Authority accounts with delinquent balances and transfer of uncollectible accounts to Credit Bureau Services Association for further collection. The Utility Billing Office pursues every effort to collect all outstanding delinquent accounts. After a few months, when all efforts have been exhausted, City procedure is to write accounts off to bad debt expense and forward them to the City’s collection agency. At this time, there are 255 delinquent accounts totaling $60,504.58 and request these accounts be written off as uncollectible. The difference between this amount and what is being recommended to send to Credit Bureau Services Association for collection is two accounts in the amount of $518.61 due to deaths.
The City Commission entered executive session pursuant to title 25 Section 307 Oklahoma Statues for purposes of discussing negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters. No action was taken.