Alva City Council approves auditing firm, account for swimming pool donations
August 22, 2021
The Monday, Aug. 16, Alva City Council meeting began with voting to approve the consent agenda, which includes minutes of the last meeting along with payment of claims of $99,806.57 and payroll expenses of $188,251.22. Councilmember Taylor Dowling asked that the minutes be tabled or pulled out for further discussion. Mayor Kelly Parker removed the minutes from the consent agenda, and the council approved claims and payroll.
Regarding the minutes, Dowling said he had a question about the Alva Hospital Authority (AHA) audit that was mentioned by Councilmember Greg Bowman at the last meeting. City Attorney Rick Cunningham explained the minutes were a record of what happened at the last council meeting, not an agenda item open for further discussion. Dowling said he misunderstood. The council then approved the minutes from July 19.
Brief reports were presented from several city boards and commissions. Randy Stelling reported the Sanitation Committee discussed continuing to purchase more polycarts. He said about 1800 are still needed and have been included in this year's budget; however, they are concerned that other needs may be deemed more important. They also discussed maintenance issues on the smaller trash trucks.
Reporting on the Alva Hospital Authority, Bowman told Dowling they had a clean audit. When Dowling attempted to ask more detailed questions, Bowman was unable to answer. Mayor Kelly Parker suggested Dowling contact the Share Medical Center CEO or the chairman of the hospital authority. Troy Brooks said he'd heard a doctor was resigning from the hospital, but that had not been discussed in a previous meeting. Parker said an AHA member is resigning, and he will be looking for a replacement.
Parker encouraged councilmembers to consider attending all or part of the annual Oklahoma Municipal League Conference, saying they can obtain a lot of information in a short period of time. He said he'd been approached about singing the National Anthem to open the conference but declined Instead at his suggestion Aaron Hansel, AHS Class of 1995, will be singing.
The mayor said guidelines for spending are still being determined but the city still expects to receive about $800,000 in American Rescue Plan funds over a two year period.
Parker attended the freshmen welcome at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and will be one of the President's Leadership Class speakers this semester.
Business Manager's Report
City Business Manager Angelica Brady said she attended several preconstruction meetings last week. The roof replacement and other work at the Alva Recreation Complex is supposed to be finished in 90 days which would be Nov. 14, but delays in getting supplies may push back the finish.
The waterline at the high school including two fire hydrants is expected to be completed by Oct. 23 unless there are delays in getting materials.
Work will begin soon on drilling a new offset well at the wellfield south of Alva. Brady said a test drill will be done Sept. 7, and the completion date is set for Dec. 6.
The waterline project from the wellfield to Alva is finished with all tests complete. The city is waiting for approval from the DEQ before it is put into service.
The city staff is preparing for the annual audit. The audit for FY19-20 is about ready.
Two members of the public spoke. Halah Simon objected to changing the zoning of property at 1020 4th Street from residential (RG8) to commercial neighborhood (CN). As an owner of neighboring property, Simon objected to construction of a large building because it would obstruct the view and cause further congestion in the narrow alleyway.
Tom Streich, owner of the property to be rezoned, explained he has had a shop on Oklahoma Boulevard for over 20 years but is not planning to move his business. Instead, he wants to take out a large half-dead tree and put in a building to store vehicles. He said the building is for overflow in a climate-controlled setting.
Later in the meeting, the city council considered two requests to rezone property from RG8 to CN. Alva Fire Chief Bryan Miller who is the interim city inspector apologized to those applying for the rezoning. Councilmembers Daniel Winters and Brandon Sherman asked some questions which caused him to refer to the 1971 zoning ordinance. An hour before the city council meeting, he learned the criteria for commercial neighborhood zoning described neighborhood grocery stores.
Miller said he advised the property owners apply for commercial neighborhood zoning when they should actually be applying for CI (commercial industrial) zoning.
After seeking advice from Cunningham, the council approved separate motions to deny the two rezoning applications.
There was discussion about whether the applicants would have to pay a new $150 filing fee to apply for the correct zoning. Miller was of the opinion they should not since it was his mistake. Mayor Parker jokingly suggested Miller should pay the fees. Everyone appeared to agree that the applicants could reapply with no new fee.
Asked if he had any further comments, Miller said, "I make the recommendation you hire a city inspector."
After questions during the July meeting delayed action on hiring an auditor, Chris Angel of Angel, Johnston & Blasingame, P.C. attended Monday night's meeting virtually. Appearing on a large video screen, Angel said he discussed with members of his firm the problem noted in a peer review he also talked with Mr. Cundiff who did the review.
Angel said they have gone decades without any problems, but reviews are now being "very particular". The primary comment is related to a single audit for a school. "I don't work on schools," said Angel. The audit in question was done in a different section of the firm, and Angel only works with municipalities.
Proper protocols had been observed in the questioned school audit; however, a box they were to check to indicate they did that work was left blank.
Councilmembers had no questions, and the contract was approved for an amount not to exceed $19,850. This contract is for the fiscal year just ended July 31, 2021.
Swimming Pool Donation Fund
The council approved opening a separate checking account for the donation fund for the swimming pool. Blake Jordan, chairman of the Pool Finance Committee, attended the meeting. He said the council's finance committee discussed putting the donations in an interest-bearing account.
Councilmembers voted to approve the airport commission's recommendation to change the airport engineering firm from CEC Corporation to Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, Inc. Airport project engineers from CEC moved to Parkhill, leaving CEC without airport engineers. Parkhill will handle completion of the apron project which will begin soon.
The annual software contract with Tyler Technologies was approved for an amount not to exceed $38,240.90.
A grazing lease for the East Lagoon was approved with Kelly Thiesing in the amount of $510 per year. Thiesing had the only bid. No bids were received for the West Lagoon site.
The Alva Economic Development Authority trustees approved minutes of the last meeting, claims of $5,184.60 and payroll expenses of $13,520.28.
The Alva Utility Authority (AUA) met and approved minutes of the last meeting, claims of $5,233.44 and payroll expenses of $54,805.82.
AUA trustees approved a change order for the 16-inch water main replacement project. This increases the cost of the project by $26,552. Brady said the pipe for the project was purchased in 2018. When it was hauled by the city to the location, some pieces broke or cracked and had to be replaced. In addition, to save money the city did not have Myers Engineering mark the start and end locations of the project. This resulted in an extra 400 feet of pipe being laid.
A video of the meeting may be seen at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.