Alva City Council learns about Kids & Cops, Freedom Riders and the 2020 Census


Marione Martin

Trisha Woodward with the Census Bureau tells the Alva City Council about the importance of the 2020 Census.

The July Alva City Council meeting highlighted several coming events including a Kids & Cops fundraiser, a visit by the Freedom Riders and the 2020 Census. The council met Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. Regular meetings of the council are held the third Monday of each month unless a Monday holiday moves the meeting to Tuesday.

Kids & Cops

Assistant Police Chief Patrick Hawley talked about the Kids & Cops fundraiser, a "whodunit" theater. Actors portray various characters in a mystery, and audience members try to guess who committed the crime. The Kids & Cops program promotes positive interaction between Alva youth and police officers, providing role models for youth. Hawley said the program was begun three years ago, and officers want it to grow even more.

Freedom Riders Proclamation

The American Legion was chartered by Congress on Sept. 16, 1919, and they are celebrating their 100th year of service to communities, states and the nation in 2019. The American Legion Riders is a program of the American Legion Family, consisting of motorcycle riders who belong to the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion.

Alva is home to American Legion Post 92. U.S. Highway 281 is also known as The American Legion Memorial Highway, bisecting the nation and passing through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The riders will be stopping in Alva on August 3 and resuming their ride on Aug. 4.

Mayor Kelly Parker signed a proclamation designating Aug. 3 as Freedom Riders Day in Alva. Scotty Cox spoke to the council about the ride. The motorcyclists will be traveling from south to north. Local members plan to have residents line the highway from the Alva sign on US281 South until they turn off on 14th Street to the museum. Riders will gather at the Cherokee Strip Museum that evening. The fire department is planned to have the ladder truck at 14th and US64 (Oklahoma Boulevard) for their arrival.

Census Proclamation

Trisha Woodward from the Census Bureau spoke to the council about the need for everyone filling out the 2020 census information. She said as a result of the census count, billions in federal money is appropriated. "If we don't county everyone, someone else gets it." She said the federal funds go to roads, schools, senior centers, hospitals and affordable housing.

Woodward emphasized that census information is safe and confidential. The form is easy to fill out. In the 2020 Census, it's possible to go online to complete the form. This is especially helpful for those in rural areas or who use post office boxes as they may not receive census packets. She suggested those who don't have an internet connection visit the library to use a computer. Unlike many online sites, Woodward said the census bureau will not share any of your information other than the census numbers.

NWOSU student Ethan Sacket was introduced as the local liaison for the 2020 census.

Mayor Parker signed a 2020 Census Complete Count proclamation pledging the city's support.

Professional Building Roof

The Professional Building, located across the street east from City Hall, is experiencing roof problems. The recent rains revealed leaks in several locations. The roof was inspected, and the cost estimates submitted by four different companies range from $45,000 to $172,000.

The Parks and Buildings Committee met on June 26 and concluded the roof needed to be replaced with a product similar to what was used on the library. Since the expenditure is expected to be in excess of $50,000, a bid packet will need to be prepared and submitted to prospective bidders.

City Business Manager Joe Don Dunham said he expected to have the bid information ready by the end of the week. The council voted approval authorizing Dunham to bid out the roof replacement.

Property Leases

The city advertised for bids to lease Alva's airport farm, Harper Road farm and the cemetery farm. There were two bidders each on the airport and Harper Road properties. No bids were received on the cemetery property.

As the highest bidder, James A. Wiebener was awarded the airport farm lease for $35,552.12.

HE Land and Cattle rescinded their bid for the Harper Road farm so that was awarded to Ben Orcutt for $285.48.

Other Business

Dr. Bo Hannaford was the only council member absent from the meeting.

An item inadvertently left off a list earlier was approved to be disposed of as surplus. It's a Street Department cement belly dump trailer which was bought used in 1971.

The council held a 20 minute executive session to discuss negotiations with the union representing Alva firefighters.

Claims of $111,682.18 and payroll expenses of $281,984.98 were approved for payment along with minutes of the June 17 meeting.

The council recessed and later moved to the Alva Municipal Swimming Pool for a public hearing.

Authority Meetings

Right after the council meeting, the Alva Utility Authority met. They approved claims of $54,238.90 and payroll expenses of $59,631.92 as well as the minutes of the June 17 meeting. Trustees also voted to authorize Dunham to prepare bids on the 14th and Oklahoma water pressure pump construction and installation. This is part of the 2018 Series Revenue Bonds and is the last of that series of projects. There is currently $733,729 remaining in that account. Engineers estimate this project will cost $398,125.

The Alva Economic Development Authority then met. They are responsible for overseeing the one percent sales tax approved by voters with half going to the Alva Recreation Complex and half to NWOSU scholarships. Trustees approved claims of $14,149.92 and payroll expenses of $15,864.50.

Both authorities are made up of the council members and presided over by the mayor.

Marione Martin

Wearing his Freedom Riders vest, Scotty Cox tells the city council about the Aug. 3 ride into Alva.


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