Alva Review-Courier -

Contract offer made to city business manager candidate by Alva City Council


Following an executive session at Monday’s Alva City Council meeting, Mayor Kelly Parker said there may be some news soon. The council made a contract offer to a candidate for the city business manager position. No action was taken on the contract with the firefighters’ union.

All council members were present for the meeting except for Randy Stelling.

Reporting for the finance committee of the council, Connor Martin said they have been working with Crawford and Associates on city financial reports. City Treasurer Trent Goss met with the committee to discuss interest rates and the renewal of certificates of deposit.

At the end of June, the city’s cash balance was $2,592,000 with investments of $1,621,000. At the end of the budget year on June 30, the city had collected 98.6 percent of the project revenue for the budget and expended 91.4 percent of budget expenses. Sales and use tax collections for the year were about 95 percent of the amount projected for last year’s budget.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Parker reported the conversion to the Paychex program for city payroll was nearly complete. The first payroll with the new system had very few issues.

Termination of the Nextep contract for payroll services resulted in the company assessing a termination fee of over $13,000. Parker said that amount is being disputed. He believes the city complied with the terms for termination and should not owe anything. However, he said Paychex has agreed to pay the termination fee if it cannot be waived.

The city owns some property near the grain elevators in the north part of town. It used to be a railroad right-of-way and now that it is no longer needed, it has been returned to the city. Wheeler Brothers has expressed interest in purchasing the property so the city has been researching to determine if there are any easements or other restrictions. During the search, a July 5, 1901, signed ordinance was discovered for an agreement with the city granting the property to Choctaw Northern Railroad. He said the ordinance was No. 26. Once the title is settled, the land can be sold by sealed bid.

The 522 EMS district agreement was sent to City Attorney Drew Cunningham for final approval so it can be sent to the 522 EMS board for their approval.

SQSS (Strategic Quality Support System) is a method of making assignments to staff and following up to see if the assignments were done. Parker said the city is getting ready to start using this system.

The Oklahoma Municipal League conference will be in September, and Parker asked council members interested in attending to notify him.

Council Action

Other than a lengthy discussion on the airport farm ground lease, reported in Friday’s Alva Review-Courier, the council moved fairly quickly through their agenda.

Council members approved an amendment to the airport budget, Resolution 2022-020, to recognize additional revenue from an oil lease and additional expense due for aviation fuel. Another amendment was approved for the street department budget to adjust for additional costs of the 4th Street paving project.

The agreement with Woods County E911 Dispatch was approved. This provides the city with radio dispatch services. Nothing was changed from previous agreements except the date.

The city council members approved Resolution 2022-023 to file for the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Grant to renovate the bathhouse and associated amenities as part of the Alva Municipal Pool replacement project and authorizing the mayor to sign all related documents. Parker said the city is asking for a $500,000 grant since the city already has $500,000 to match it. The application will be submitted in August or September. Taylor Dowling questioned the cost of maintenance of the pool facility, and Parker became a little agitated. He told Dowling he has asked him multiple times to bring such questions to him ahead to time so he will have time to look up answers. The vote approving the grant application passed 6-0 with Troy Brooks abstaining.

Next the council considered hiring a firm to conduct the annual financial audit for the city since the previous auditor is no longer doing municipal audits. Parker said three firms submitted proposals: HSPG, Russell Williams and Arledge and Associates. Treasurer Goss and Mayor Parker rated the three companies, and then the finance committee members did their own rating.

Parker said HSPG scored 95 with Arledge at 93 and Russell Williams at 78. The cost given for an audit was $4,000 by HSPG, $2,000 by Russell Williams and $5,000 by Arledge. Parker said the finance committee did not believe Russell Williams was capable of meeting the city’s needs. Their recommendation was to go with HSPG.

Daniel Winters made a motion to hire HSPG for the audit, seconded by Greg Bowman, and the motion passed unanimously.

The council also approved the consent agenda including minutes of the June 21, June 29 and July 14 meetings, claims of $342,456.89, payroll expenses of $116,680.09, and two invoices for aviation fuel of $29,826.12 and $34,993.01.

At the end of the council meeting during the council remarks section, Mayor Parker apologized to Dowling for losing his cool earlier.

Dowling asked about progress on the pond project at the Homestead. Parker said the contractor is in Arizona and has asked that a different contractor be found to finish the project. The city will need to retrieve the pond liner from the contractor.

Authority Meetings

During the Alva Utility Authority meeting, it was discovered that the agenda report on claims had a title with the words “Do not use report for council.” This caused some trustees to doubt the report. The claims were removed from the consent agenda. The minutes of the last meeting were approved, and the claims were tabled.

The Alva Economic Development Authority claims had the problem. Again the trustees approved the minutes but tabled the claims.


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