Alva Review-Courier -

AHS Science Club plans to improve Hatfield walking trail


November 22, 2019

Marione Martin

Alva High School teacher Mary Tyree (left) introduces Joe Parsons, president of the AHS Science Club. The club discussed their plans for improvements to the Hatfield Park walking trail during Monday's city council meeting.

Alva High School teacher Mary Tyree brought several members of the AHS Science Club to Monday's city council meeting to tell of their plans for Hatfield Park. Years ago, a walking trail was built around the perimeter of the park with some exercise equipment to encourage physical fitness. Over the years, the trail has deteriorated with community groups occasionally cleaning it up and making improvements.

Tyree provided the council with some printed information about the clubs plans for the walking trail and introduced student Joe Parsons, president of the club. Parsons said they recently visited Rogers State College where they toured a walking trail that provided markers describing the vegetation to be seen. The club would like to make some similar additions to the Alva trail.

Student Aaron Mason said the club is applying for a grant or funding to add solar-powered lights like the ones the city added through a TSET grant. They are also hoping to be chosen by Bank It for funding. Mason said their plans also include benches placed along the trail that will have solar-powered charging stations for phones and tablets. In addition, they'd like to add a butterfly garden, planting flowers that are attractive to butterflies.

Zachary Wallis from the science club spoke more about the grants saying if their applications are successful, they hope to have about $30,000 to work with for the improvements.

Alva City Business Manager Joe Don Dunham told the council he has approved the club's plans for the walking trail.

The council approved Resolution No. 2019-008 approving an interlocal cooperative agreement for Circuit Engineering (CED) #8 for the purchase of traffic control and other miscellaneous signage. The Alva company produces signage of various types.

Resolution No. 2019-009 approved by the council requests the refund of $25,381.47 from OMAG, the city's worker's compensation insurance provider. The money could have been used to offset the current year's insurance premiums, but Dunham said those have already been budgeted.

Councilmember Bo Hannaford, who chairs the council's finance committee, recommended entering into a contract with Nextep Business Solutions IV for human resources services. Hannaford said the finance committee looked at two software packages. Paycom would cost about $50,000 for providing timekeeping services only. Nexstep for about $90,000 will do that but will also include a human resources section.

Dunham said he expects the city will see substantial savings with the Nexstep package. He did a quick estimate of about $37,000 a year savings. However, he said there may be other savings in efficiency and eliminating errors. Through this company, the city is also planning to go from Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance to Aetna insurance. He said an analysis shows more benefits for employees at the same price. Nexstep is based in Norman.

The council approved the purchase of 100 low lead avgas for the Alva Regional Airport to exceed $25,000. The exact amount was not known Monday. The airport manager had not placed the order yet, and gas prices tend to fluctuate. The action was necessary because any purchase above $25,000 must be approved by the council. Dunham pointed out the avgas is not exactly an expense as it will be resold to aircraft owners.

Mayor Kelly Parker said the city had swimming pool task force applications turned in by ten people. He chose seven of those to represent a range of interests. He said some favored the recent bond election idea while some were opposed and some just wanted a swimming pool no matter how it was financed. The council approved appointing Renae Green, Meagan Caldwell, Ric Towns, Greg Baker, Scott Brown, Jacque Ruhl and Paul Barton to the task force. Randy Stelling voted no on the motion, and Brandon Sherman was absent. Dunham will be contacting the members to set up their first meeting.

The council held a short executive session for confidential communications between the city council and its attorney Rick Cunningham about four pending claims and actions.

The council approved the consent agenda consisting of minutes of the last meeting, claims totaling $319,414.54 and payroll expenses of $275,486.29.

Although about 20 people attended the council meeting, no one had anything to say during the public remarks time.

Alva Utility Authority

After the council meeting adjourned, the Alva Utility Authority (AUA) met. They approved minutes of the last meeting, claims of $192,714.90 and payroll expenses of $66,183.26.

AUA trustees approved soliciting bids for the upgrading of the Oklahoma Boulevard and 14th Street water pressure pump. Dunham said the Department of Environmental Quality permit application was turned in, and he expected approval soon. He wanted to get the bid process started because it will take about a month. The cost is estimated at $398,125 and would come out of the loan fund the city obtained for renovating the water system. Roughly $800,000 is still available in the fund, and it can only be used for water projects.

Dunham said this pump serves the northwest quadrant of Alva and connects with the tall water tower at 14th and Oklahoma. Currently water in that tower only flows out when the wellfield water pressure is low enough. He said the proposed water pump will circulate the water through the tower and into the system to keep it fresh. The water now in the tank will need to be dumped as it is likely brackish from not being circulated.

Alva Economic Development Authority

The Alva Economic Development Authority met briefly to approve minutes of the last meeting, claims of $30,996.39 and payroll expense of $15,262.45.


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