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Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

This blog is for people to share their thoughts and ideas on things of interest in this town of Buffalo Oklahoma.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Positive Things Taking Shape

Except for one loud-mouthed remark from the husband of a non-voting town official the board meeting went smoothly and it appears that positive things could be taking shape. To find out what happened check the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Twenty–eight or so attend Town Board meeting at the Fairgrounds. The meeting was started off by Alan who quickly made the motion to appoint Georganna as the new Town Mayor. Motion was quickly seconded by Chance and Susan simultaneously. All members were in favor of the new appointment for mayor. Alan expressed relief for getting through his challenging portion of the meeting. Alan essentially remained silent throughout the remainder of the open session except for the roll call votes as required.

    After successful motions to modify the contract of Attorney Kathy Bolles and the appointment of Attorney Pauline Fahle to municipal Judge at $200 per session the board moved to go into executive session regarding the new Police Chief. Returning from the executive session the motion was carried to pay monies to the Police Chief for him using his personal vehicle while the new police vehicle was going through its prep.

    Then Chief Murrell requested approval from the board to implement a reserve police officer program limited to five officers. The request was granted by the board. The board then tried to move on to additional items pertaining to the creation of the police department however; most of it was scrutinized by a non voting town official’s husband regarding costs of the various equipment and programs being sought. Harper County Deputy Sheriff Derrick Seevers was present and helped explain how the systems being sought were good to have and the importance of having them. After those discussions you couldn’t help but feel that there is going to be a good relationship between the two law enforcement entities.
    Even with continued questions of the costs for the necessary equipment the motions all carried.

    The next agenda item was an agreement with the Harper County Sheriff concerning the terms and conditions for dispatching services. Since it was a moot issue at this point it quickly died due to lack of motion. No discussion was held.

    Then one of the most interesting and for some controversial item was discussing the creation of a public trusts for the Town of Buffalo. Kathy Bolles addressed the board and audience explaining the workings of a trust and how it is used by cities and towns throughout the state. She mentioned how she was surprised that there wasn’t one in place already and explained the benefits that a trust provides. She gave examples how the trust lets the town direct revenues to the trust for doing projects that benefit the health and welfare of the town. The non voting city treasure and her husband seemed a little bit concerned about relinquishing the purse strings to a public trust. One brought up that the town has gotten by so far without one and the other referred that even thieves could create a trust. Mr. Brown talked a little about the need to look at this as a business decision. With several more comments and questions Ms. Bolles stated she would present the proper documents at a later meeting for its official consideration.

    The next topic was the DEQ report concerning the wastewater system. Some modifications to the lift station will be made along with the purchase of 2 new pumps in order to get that part of the system up and running again. Estimated cost for the pumps is around $20,000. Other items with the sewer pond will need to be addressed and a follow up inspection will be done in a couple of weeks. It was asked about the capacity of the lagoons and that has yet to be determined by the DEQ engineer. Georganna tried her best to explain that what happen with the sewer ponds was necessary. Chance spent several moments praising and commending Joe for how wonderfully he has handled the sewer situation. No one addressed the reasoning behind the fact that the pumps have been broken since April and here it is November and we just now decide to tackle this situation.

    REAP grant was discussed and basically 3 things are being kicked around as to what to apply for. $38,000 worth of concrete to pave the area around city hall for the benefit of the new clinic parking lot and drive through lots. This price was material only. The second REAP consideration is the need to wait and see if the lagoons will need to be upgraded based on engineers recommendation. Once they find out, then they can request the REAP money to pay for the actual engineering and designing of the upgrades needed. The third thing mentioned was using REAP for new computers for the office. It is quite apparent that very little creative brainstorming has been done to pinpoint the needs of the town and whether or not this REAP money could help any of those. (Check other blog post to share your ideas)

    The golf course irrigation system grant through the Department of Tourism was discussed next. The estimated cost for the sprinklers is about $300,000. Tourism would pay half and then the Town the other half. (50-50) the grant application requires a 10% commitment of cash funds from the Town in some fashion. That number is $30,000. Some of this money could come from the golf association. Also the town currently has $23,000 in its golf account. The remaining portion of the 50-50 would be $120,000 of “in-kind” services. Not much was said about how that portion would take place. The resolution carried nevertheless. It was mentioned that there was no guarantee that the golf association would get this grant.

    A letter was read stating that the removal of the debris that was dumped at the old landfill was satisfactory completed. So that DEQ issue is resolved. The amount the Town paid to have this debris hauled to its final resting place was around $5600.

    The oil and gas lease will go to highest bidder. So far there has been an offer up to $150 per acre. The audience was asked if that was a good rate or not. Someone thought $200 would be more realistic. So if they get $200 and they have eighty acres that would be $16,000. With a public trust this money could be earmarked for the trust and any addition revenue could also go to the trust thus creating a revenue stream for the upgrades for the golf course. Also previously during the discussion about trusts Chance mentioned that he was in favor of an increase in the greens fees that could be put into the trust. Concerns were raised about drilling on hole number 9 and several from the audience confirmed the lease allows drilling anywhere they want.

    The necessary ratifying of the affected items from previously affected meetings was retroactively approved by the majority of the board.

    The meeting was then concluded by a few routine items and there were no comments made by the audience during their official agenda recognition.