Alva City Office to close at noon Friday


October 19, 2018

The Alva City Office will be closing at noon today for electrical work. The office is expected to be open again for regular hours on Monday, provided the electrical work is finished over the weekend.

City Business Manager Joe Don Dunham said a pre-construction conference was held Sept. 4 for the city hall HVAC The project was slated to begin Sept. 5 with a 150 day completion date of Feb. 1, 2019. The contract for the project is for $298,000 but city staff is looking for ways to change the project to save some money.

The installation was to begin in the police department end of the city building. When the project reaches the south end where city offices are located, those employees will be moved across the street to the Professional Building, which is owned by the city. Inmate labor will be used to move any needed furniture. Moving the computer equipment will cost just over $3,000. An added cost will be the removal of about 520 linear feet of asbestos-wrapped pipe. Three companies have been contacted for quotes. One quote is for $13,000 and the city was waiting for replies from the others.

Computer Server Crash

The server hosting the city’s INCODE software crashed on Oct. 3. As repairs were made, staff realized the last good backup was Sept. 19. A lot of paperwork had to be entered to bring the system up to date. Dunham expressed thanks to the employees who worked over the weekend to accomplish the update.

Alva Water Wells

Some Alva residents were upset about the announcement that a couple of city water wells had tested positive for E. coli contamination. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) required some tests and measurements as well as notification of the public by legal notice.

Dunham said after the tests and measurements were analyzed, it was determined the chlorine in the city water was significant enough to kill any of the bacteria before the water was delivered to homes. No boil order was given.

He said the two contaminated wells have been disconnected from the water system while the DEQ and the city look for a cause of the contamination and determine what’s needed to remedy the situation.

Young Street Water Tank Farm

The new water tank and booster pump on Young Street is now being used. As of Oct. 3 Wynn Construction still had to finish some work and site grading. An additional change order was needed to pay for the entire yard to be fenced, not just a portion of the area as originally planned. The last monthly progress meeting and final inspection is scheduled for Oct. 23.

East Alva Sewer Line

In a meeting Sept. 25 with Cobalt Construction, the city discussed numerous items. The anticipated completion date is Oct. 25. They were about halfway through with installation of the pipe. Once this is complete, Cobalt will be pouring concrete for the bottoms of the manholes. Dunham said the project has been delayed by all the recent rains.

Community Development

City staff is currently researching companies who provide strategic planning services. They are also developing a request for proposals form.

The Planning Commission meeting did not have a quorum on Sept. 24. However, members present talked about the need for a new strategic land use plan to be developed. The next meeting is Oct. 22, and commission members will be briefed on how to develop the land use plan.

In the work to take care of overgrown yards and problem buildings, Dunham said 34 nuisance cases have been worked. Most of those have responded with getting to work on cleaning up their property. He said the new city inspector and the police would be going out to levy fines on the few properties not making any effort.

The city has worked three dilapidated building cases since the September council meeting. A public hearing on those properties was held Monday during the council meeting. One building is currently in probate and was removed from the list. The others will be covered in another story.

New City Inspector

Derrick Courson has been promoted to Building and Code Inspector for the city. He was previously employed in the parks and buildings maintenance department. While Courson is completing his training, the city will use some outside inspectors to help with inspections.

The city is also short-handed in sanitation and EMS. The sanitation department is in the process of replacing two employees. The EMS currently needs two employees but these positions are more of a challenge to fill due to licensure requirements.

Fire Marshal Completes Training

Alva Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Bryan Miller has completed NFA – Fire Investigation: Interview and Testimony. This 10-day course provided the tools for fire/arson investigators to conduct sound, legal supported interviews and interrogations with witnesses and suspects in preparation for court testimony. It also prepares Miller to give expert testimony.

Employee Recognized

The city honored Julie Dennis of Alva EMS for going above and beyond the call of duty. During August, Dennis became aware of an elderly man who had been picked up and taken to the hospital in Enid. Upon his release, the man did not have transportation back to Alva. Dennis, on her personal time, took it upon herself to drive to Enid, pick up the man and bring him back to Alva.

Dunham said, “This type of citizen service should be recognized and rewarded.” He commended Dennis for shining a favorable light on the city and its employees. As a reward, Dennis will receive a dinner for two at any restaurant in Alva, two movie passes and an extra day off with pay.


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