Freedom Town Board handles finances; debates perpetual contract
May 21, 2020
The Freedom Town Board met Wednesday, May 13. After a short delay due to technical difficulties related to the online meeting software, Mayor Shad Brackin and board member Randy Rhodes got down to business, with the assistance of Town Clerk Cindy Reed.
Utility Bill Late Fees; $10 Rabies Shots May 28
Reed updated the board on how late fees for utility bills are being handled now.
“Dawn Wares (the office manager) did not send out cutoff notices last month during everything (the pandemic) and did not charge late fees to anyone,” Reed said. “This month, the ones that were already behind before this happened she was going to send cut off notices to.”
Reed also reported that the veterinarian will be in town May 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to give rabies and other shots for people's pets.
“Does he give B-12 shots?” asked Brackin.
“The rabies shots cost $10,” said Reed.
The board discussed at some length a resolution that would amend the town's contract with OMAG (a municipal insurance company) to continue in perpetuity.
“When OMAG was formed to do insurance – all our property liability is through OMAG – in the beginning, the founding document was to establish this for a 50-year go. They want to amend that 50-year term to continue in perpetuity,” Reed said. “It was started on June 1, 1977. They're asking their municipalities who are members to sign this so they can get their agreement amended.”
“And if their members don't agree?” asked Brackin.
“Then I guess … I don't know,” she said.
“I wouldn't think the Town of Freedom would hold up OMAG,” said Brackin.
“No, I wouldn't think so, but they're asking all their members if they wouldn't mind to please do this,” Reed said.
“When do they need confirmation of that?” Brackin asked. “Well, 1977 – I guess they have a few years.”
“I do not have a due date on this at all,” said Reed.
“I hope anything that's related to a government organization being allowed to be perpetual like that …” began Brackin.
“It's basically so OMAG can exist,” Reed said.
“I might have to think about that one,” said Brackin. “Would it trouble you too much to table that?”
“I can put it on next month's agenda,” said Reed.
“I think we have enough organizations established in Oklahoma without voters (approval),” said Brackin. “I will do some more research on that, but I make a motion to table that.”
Rhodes seconded the motion.
Reed had a little good news for the board related to OMAG: Because the town had no losses during the last claim period, OMAG will rebate $515 back to the town.
“I got a message last night from our fire chief that they've had some interest in their 1994 Ford ambulance,” said Reed, “so they would like to declare that surplus if they could. This ambulance has been down in the county shed and out of commission for quite some time.”
The board approved declaring the ambulance surplus so it could be sold.
After some discussion about the city pumper truck's limitations and casual talk about the need to make sure maintenance is being done on it regularly, Brackin said he'd meet with the fire chief to get some information on the truck's ability to fight structural fires in town limits.
Contracts and Finances
The board approved signing the OEDA contract for CDBG No. 17765-19.
“I have the contract here,” said Reed. “It's basically everything we've gone over in the other meetings (related to the block grant application), just all written out. Jennifer Firgard (a consultant) needs you to sign that along with a letter she's submitted to be able to do work on our behalf on this contract for us.” Because the meeting was online, after the board approved signing the contract, Brackin agreed to come to the office the next day to sign it.
In discussion about purchase orders for the general, ambulance and fire funds, Rhodes asked for more information about an item related to work done on the water tower.
“That's the annual water tower maintenance,” said Reed. “One year they come and clean it and do work to it and the other year they come and inspect it, and I haven't been able to check with Stuart (Page, the maintenance director) but I won't send them a check until we know” exactly what was done, she said. “They always send a report when they're done anyway.”
The board approved that and the other purchase orders.
The board also approved an application for temporary appropriations for fiscal year 2020-21. “It's a temporary appropriation to use until we get our actual budget for 2021, which is usually in October,” said Reed. “This will allow us to function until we get our actual budget approved in October.”
The board then approved destroying documents in accordance with the town's document destruction schedule.
“These won't ever be wanted by the Smithsonian, will they?” said Brackin.
“I don't think they want to see how much we charged in 2013,” said Reed.
“Just save the spiders,” agreed Rhodes.