Alva Review-Courier -

Mayor talks about importance of census


March 22, 2020

Mayor Kelly Parker reminded everyone it is census time. It is estimated Oklahoma loses about $1,800 in funding for every person who doesn’t complete the census form. The census count is used in numerous federal programs to determine how much a state, county or city receives. It affects school districts and determines the area of representation for state legislators.

Parker said Oklahoma Municipal Management Services quickly posted the Alva business manager position.


Reporting for the finance committee, Dr. Bo Hannaford said sales tax collections were down three percent but the preliminary report for next month looks good. Some of the larger claims paid were listed. Stillwater Photo Inc. was paid $10,309.12 for the server and email upgrade. Another $10,759.83 was spent with Cross Oil for bulk fuel. The airport fund paid out $43,363 to Garver LLC for engineering fees. Greydog Mechanical was paid $10,509 from the AEDA fund for a 10 ton package unit which would be for the recreation complex. Sanitation transfer fees to Red Carpet Lanfill were $10,094.97.

Total payroll expenses for February were $401,859.88. The city spent $4,356.40 for phone and internet service, $17,247.87 for electric service and $624.54 for natural gas.

Manager’s Report

Interim Business Manager Angelica Brady reported the auditors had been in for a meeting.

The staff has started the budgeting process to determine the needs of each department. A tentative date of April 4 has been set for the budget retreat.

Work is still being done on the replacement of the water booster pump at 14th and Oklahoma Boulevard.

Although most of the Professional Building mold remediation has been finished, the ductwork in two suites still needs that service. It is being scheduled.

The two water wells removed from service in the wellfield have been rehabilitated and are ready for DEQ approval so they can be used.

Brady said she had been out of the office the preceding week for training. This was the finance training for which she obtained a scholarship.

Public Comment

During the public comment time, Phil Guilhem who said he lives outside the city limits, asked about the agenda item regarding $150,000 going to the Alva Arena. He pointed out work hasn’t even started on building the arena. He asked about the funding, “What is it going to do? How long is it supposed to last?” He suggested the money could be better spent working on the streets. “It seems like a lot of money for something that doesn’t exist,” he concluded.

The mayor and councilmembers can’t answer questions during the comment period, but later in the meeting when that item came up, Mayor Parker explained. He said the Alva Tourism Tax Committee grants are from taxes collected from motels and hotels. It is earmarked to be used for tourism so it cannot be spent on streets or other things.

Council Action

Council members present were Daniel Winters, Connor Martin, Chris Eckhardt, Mary Hamilton, Dr. Bo Hannaford, Randy Stelling and Brian Wallis. Brandon Sherman was absent.

The purchase of a new Ford F550 Rescue Truck was $1270 more than the $151,000 the council originally approved due to a time lag between estimates and actual purchase. Although it was within the business manager’s spending limit, she preferred that the council be made aware of the added expense. The council approved the added cost.

Councilmembers approved the renewal of the annual software maintenance agreements with Tyler Technologies for an amount not to exceed $33,472.18. The city purchased the original Incode software from Tyler on June 5, 2000. Since then management has added and deleted some modules and attachments. Tyler has kept the software current with upgrades and updates. The agreement cost is an increase from just over $31,000 last year. Brady said they provide 24/7 support. The city generally calls them for assistance one or two times a week.

The council acknowledged the payment of $26,300 to R.A.C.E. by the Alva Tourism Tax Committee for the annual Big Cruise and Car Show. It’s one of the biggest tourism events of the year in Alva.

The council also acknowledged the payment of $150,000 to the Alva Arena Authority by the Alva Tourism Committee. Martin who is a member of the tourism committee explained the money is mainly to show support for the arena in their effort to obtain financing for the project. The money isn’t actually paid until the arena authority submits invoices for work or services.

Emergency Declaration

Mayor Parker intended that COVID-19 and a declaration of emergency for the city would be discussed. However, he ran into a legal issue. Unlike some meeting agendas, the city council does not routinely list a line for “new business.” This listing allows a group to address something that could not have been foreseen when the agenda was posted a couple of days earlier.

Since “new business” wasn’t on the agenda, the council could not legally take any action on an emergency declaration. City Attorney Rick Cunningham advised the mayor that it was not necessary to declare an emergency since the state had already done so. As a political subdivision of the state, Alva is included in that declaration so the city is already eligible for federal disaster relief funds.

The mayor did assign the public safety committee and the personnel committee to consider any changes to operations.

Parker said the city should keep an eye on things and if there were an indication that citizens were being exposed to an increased risk, it would be time take appropriate action.

Later in the week, City Hall doors were locked including the city office, fire department and police department. The public was asked to handle business by phone or other means.

On Friday afternoon, the mayor signed an emergency proclamation addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Other Business

The council approved minutes of the regular Feb. 18 meeting and the special Mar. 4 meeting. They approved paying claims of $163,204.91 and payroll expenses of $220,257.47.

The Alva Utility Authority approved minutes of the February meeting, claims of $93,860.08 and payroll expenses of $65,865.24.

The Alva Economic Development Authority approved minutes of the February meeting, claims of $29,028.43 and payroll expenses of $16,041.53.


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