McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 25, 2013

Council eyes Choctaw village plan

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — McAlester city councilors are set to consider and act up authorizing a change of use of Hutchison Park to accommodate plans to create a replica of a traditional Choctaw village and to re-purpose the park for the project.

City councilors plan to consider the matter when they meet in regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in the council chambers at City Hall.

Creation of the proposed Choctaw village would be in partnership with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and could also utilize volunteer assistance if the project is approved.

Hutchison Park is in Old Town, east of North Main Street at Fourth and Krebs streets.

Other items on the Tuesday night council agenda include:

• Return of an item tabled during the last regular meeting that would authorize the city attorney to file any and all necessary district court actions to secure access  to documents and records of MPower Economic Development, and to protect the city’s interests in relation to its “expired/terminated contract” with MPower.

The item had been tabled two weeks ago on a split 4-3 vote of the council, with the majority voting in support of a motion by city Vice-Mayor and Ward 6 Councilor Sam Mason to table the matter.

Ward 3 Councilor Travis Read had presented the original motion to authorize the city attorney to take those actions. The council did not vote on Read’s motion, but instead voted on Mason’s.

• Presentation by Connie Morris, executive director of Lake Eufaula Association, regarding the B.A.S.S. National 2014 Divisional Tournament Request for Proposal and possible action to partner with the association to host the 2014 Divisional Tournament scheduled for June 2014. The item is from city Community Services Director Mel Priddy and is asking the council to approve a partnership of $10,565.

• Consider, and act upon, declaring a 1999 International 4900 trash truck with an extra rear hopper as surplus property and authorizing the city manager to sell it.

• Discussion and action to terminate or dissolve the McAlester Parking Authority, which has not met as a body for a number of years, according to statements made by Mason at previous city council meetings.

• A motion to authorize the mayor to sign a resolution declaring the CenterPoint Energy franchise passed during an election held earlier this month.

• Motion to authorize the mayor to approve Change Order No. 1 for the extension of time to the construction contract with Northern Equipment Company for water treatment plant improvements.

• Authorizing the mayor to sign a lease agreement between the city of  McAlester and the Federal Aviation Administration for period from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2015.

• Authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement for engineering service with Tetra Tech for the preparation of an engineering report to meet the requirements of a consent order issued by the State Department of Environmental Quality for $31,850.

• Act upon a budget amendment ordinance to reflect recent financial activity.

In addition to the regular agenda, a number of items are also on the city council’s consent agenda, heard before the regular agenda items. All items on the consent agenda can be approved by a single vote of the council, unless a council member asks for a particular item to be pulled for discussion.

Items on the consent agenda include:

• Consider and act upon a resolution that the city of  McAlester wants to continue its participation in the Oklahoma Main Street program.

• Accept and place on file the McAlester Main Street Annual Action Plan.

• Accept and place on file the Oklahomans for Independent Living Report for April, May and June.

• Accept and place on file the McAlester Public Schools Roofing Project and Expenditure Report.

• Consider and act upon authorizing the mayor to sign an agreement with Jordan Carris Insurance for excess Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.

• Consider and act upon an agreement for the partial funding of the 2014 Junior Sunbelt Classic.

• Concur with the mayor’s appointment of Mary Shannon to the McAlester Regional Health Center Authority Board of Trustees for a term to expire in February 2019.

• Consider and act to authorize the mayor to execute a city-county jail services agreement.

• Consider and act upon establishing a retail sales tax incentive for the McAlester Main Street Business District and the Choctaw Corridor.

Following the regular meeting,  the city council is set meet in regular session to consider the employment of City Attorney William J. Ervin.

The McAlester City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.