Alva to apply for swimming pool grant, firm chosen to plan pool and aquatic center


January 23, 2022

Alva City Council members met for the regular January meeting on Tuesday evening. Normally the meetings are held on the third Monday of the month, but this meeting was delayed a day by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

With the unusual scheduling, some council members had other obligations planned so the meeting was kept short. Mayor Kelly Parker opted to skip reports from other city boards and commissions. He did not have a mayor’s report, and City Business Manager Angelica Brady was absent so there was no report from her. There were no members of the public present other than representatives of NWOSU who spoke later and a city water department employee who was there for a presentation that was delayed to another time.

Council members present for the meeting were Connor Martin, Taylor Dowling, Gail Swallow, Sadie Bier, Randy Stelling and Greg Bowman. Absent were Daniel Winters and Troy Brooks.

National Mentoring Month

Mayor Parker read and signed a proclamation naming January as National Mentoring Month in Alva. The proclamation cites programs like the NWOSU Literacy Center, Alva Police Department Kids & Cops, and the Alva Independent School District that “make our city stronger by driving impactful relationships that increase social capital for young people and provide invaluable support networks.”

According to the proclamation, students who meet regularly with their mentors are more than 52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college. Youth who are mentored are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking, the proclamation states.

Alva Incentive Scholarships

NWOSU Foundation CEO Skeeter Bird stood to speak regarding the fall semester Alva Incentive Scholarship Program. First he addressed the coming retirement of NWOSU President Dr. Janet Cunningham. He thanked Janet and her husband Rick, who is the city attorney, for their contributions to Northwestern and the community, referring to them as a “power couple.” Bird kept his remarks brief, thanking the city council and the citizens of Alva for the scholarships.

Approaching the podium, Dr. Cunningham looked directly at her husband, seated next to the mayor. She told him not to let the “power couple” description go to his head.

Cunningham said after 16 years as the university president, she thought it was time let someone else take the helm. However, she intends to stay in Alva, unlike other NWOSU presidents who left the office and the city.

Cunningham said her decisions at NWOSU were seen through the lens of “I’m going to have to live with this forever,” referring to her plan to stay in Alva. She listed a few of the recent events and programs at NWOSU over the summer and fall.

Cunningham expressed her appreciation for the impact the scholarships have on Northwestern and the community at large.

“About 125 years ago, this community fought for this institution. I hope we won’t have to fight to keep it,” Cunningham said.

Swimming Pool Action

Two items on the council agenda were related to swimming pool plans. Mayor Parker said the Pool Finance Committee is planning to apply for matching funding through the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. The application will be for approximately $750,000 for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. The application has not been finalized but city council approval is one step in the process. The grant application deadline is this fall.

Bowman made a motion to approve Resolution 2022-002 authorizing the application, seconded by Stelling. The motion carried with a unanimous vote in favor.

The second action involves contracting with a company to plan and design the Alva pool and aquatics projects. The Pool Finance Committee received six responses to their request for qualifications. After narrowing these down to three finalists, the committee met with Kimley Horn of Oklahoma City, Barrett Williamson Architects of Norman and Lamp Rynearson of Omaha-Kansas City.

On Jan. 6 after researching the firms, the committee met and decided to recommend Kimley Horn to the city council’s Parks and Buildings Committee. That committee approved the recommendation to the city council.

Tuesday night by a unanimous vote, the city council approved authorizing the city business manager in conjunction with the Pool Finance Committee to negotiate contract terms with Kimley Horn, subject to final approval by the city council.

Kimley Horn provided a list of several related projects they have designed including the Frontier Family Aquatic Center at Bartlesville, the Reynolds Family Aquatic Center at Pauls Valley, the Purcell Park master plan, and The Alley Pocket Park at Cherokee.

Other Business

Council members approved Resolution No. 2022-001 approving an inter-local cooperative agreement with Circuit Engineering District 8 (CED#8). Located on West Lakes Drive in Alva, CED#8 provides the city with reasonably priced signage. The Inter-Local Cooperation Act allows governmental units to form compacts in order to best utilize services which will be advantageous to the compact entities.

The council was asked to appoint representatives to negotiate on the city’s behalf with the local firefighters union. Last year Stelling and former council member Mary Hamilton handled that task along with Brady, the city business manager.

Stelling said last year Brady handled most of the work and it went smoothly. He said he’d be willing to take on the job again. Dowling volunteered to be the other negotiator. Bier made a motion to appoint Stelling and Dowling as the negotiators, seconded by Dowling, and the motion carried.

Council members also approved minutes of the December meeting claims of $151,076.53 and payroll expenses of $182,146.23.

Alva Utility Authority

The Alva Utility Authority (AUA), consisting of the same members, met following council adjournment. AUA trustees voted to approve minutes of the last meeting, claims of $68,628.30 and payroll expenses of $45,103.07.

Trustees approved Change Order No. 2 to increase the water main extension to Alva High School by $1,000. The increase brings the project cost total to $129,280.00. The change was needed because the existing line was shown in the plans as six-inch pipe, but after excavation it was found to be eight inches. An eight-inch by eight-inch tapping sleeve and valve was required.

Alva Economic Development Authority

The final meeting of the night was the Alva Economic Development Authority (AEDA), also made up of the same members.

AEDA trustees approved minutes of the December meeting, claims of $286,534.59 and payroll expenses of $12,051.44.

Stelling made a motion, seconded by Bowman, to approve payment of the NWOSU Foundation’s invoice for the 2021 Fall Semester Scholarships in the amount of $265,062.00. The motion was approved unanimously.

A video of the meeting may be seen at


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