The McAlester City Council plans to hold a couple of meetings on Tuesday, with action regarding a possible new city manager on the agenda.

City councilors plan to hold a special meeting at 5:45 p.m. in the Council Conference Room on the second floor at McAlester City Hall.

The city council plans to consider meeting in executive session to discuss a city manager applicant. Also on the agenda is an item for city councilors to consider action to “offer employment to city manager applicant.”

Today, Ward 2 City Councilor Donnie Condit said the city is close to hiring a city manager, but there are still two strong contenders.

Condit declined to release their names, but did confirm that both are from Ohio and both are men.

“The candidates are very close and we are dealing with one in particular,” said Condit, who is head of the city search committee to find a new city manager.

However, Condit said it’s still not certain the council will decide to offer him the job on Tuesday.

“We have to work out some different points — what he wants and what we are willing to give,” Condit said.

The city has been without a city manager since May, when then-City Manager Susan Monroe resigned. City councilors had previously voted to suspend her for 30 days and then to seek her termination.

Monroe pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor charge of destroying evidence in connection with changes made to her contract at City Hall.

In the absence of a city manager, Assistant City Manager Bart Van Nieuwenhuise has been fulfilling many of the city manager’s duties.

Also during the special meeting, city councilors plan to vote to either accept or reject a governmental tort claim filed against the city on behalf of former McAlester City Treasurer Rob Corabi.

Corabi is contending he was improperly terminated by Monroe from his job as city treasurer.

Also during the special meeting, city councilors plan to consider action to approve settlement of the city of McAlester’s claim against former police chief and former Ward 4 Councilor Dale Nave.

Following the special meeting, city councilors plan to hold their regular meeting at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of City Hall.

During the regular meeting city councilors will consider action on a consent order from the State Department of Environmental Quality for the city’s east wastewater plant and sewer collection system.

The consent order regards city manholes which overflowed in the Green Meadows subdivision area after it rained on May 9 and 12.

In the consent order, the DEQ orders the city to fix the problems or to face penalties ranging from $180 to $240 per day.

Failing to complete the work to stop the problems could result in a maximum penalty of $30,000.

City Engineer George Marcangeli said that work has already begun to determine the exact cause of the sewer overflows and to make improvements to assure they don’t recur in the future.

The city also plans to consider action on a DEQ consent order for a west wastewater influent lift station in construction.

The DEQ says one of its representatives noticed that influent lift station underground pumps had been replaced with above-ground pumps with flexible piping, although the DEQ did not issue the city of McAlester a permit for that modification.

In its consent order, the DEQ is ordering the city to apply for a construction permit for a pump station to replace the unpermitted installation.

Also, the Tuesday night agenda calls for the council to “consider action on an agreement and rider for the administration of city sales tax as approved by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.”

The rider calls for the OTC to engage the services of an independent audit program administrator, identified by the Oklahoma Municipal League, to comply with the independent audit administration plan.

“This revision is necessary to conform to statutory changes since the last update of the agreement with the Oklahoma Tax Commission,” according to Assistant City Treasurer Sherry Alessi and a letter from the OTC.

The city sales tax rate is currently set at 3.75 percent, with the use tax automatically matching that amount.

In other Tuesday night action the city council plans to consider a request from John Godwin, of the Bedouin Temple, to address the council.

Also, city councilors are to consider concurring with Mayor Don Lewis’ appointment of Stephanie Mowat, and the reappointments of Doris Hackler and Linda Pillow to the city’s Community Tree Board.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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