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Friday, March 22, 2019
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Waurika City Hall News

Michael Bryant Hired as New City Clerk and More Waurika City News

There were two big stories to come out of the May City Commissioner meeting for the city of Waurika.

The first was the hiring of former Jefferson County Sheriff Michael Bryant. He will bring administrative and law enforcement experience to the position which will be a plus as one of his duties will be city code enforcement.

Bryant is the longest serving sheriff in Jefferson County’s history. When he first took office as sheriff the department had just enough money to last 30 days and yet there were 90 days left in the fiscal year. When he left the department there was over $500,000.00 in the accounts.

He will begin his duties as city clerk on June 1st.

The other story of interest from Monday’s meeting was the recognition by the Oklahoma Water Resource Board for the city’s loan consolidation.

Charles de Coune, Leading Manager of the Financial Assistance Division of OWRB, presented the City Commissioners with a commemorative check symbolizing the $975,000.00 loan consolidation.

The loan will save the city 10 years of payments and over $240,000.00.

Other business included the hiring of Jeffrey Overton in the city’s Water Department. Scott spoke highly of him and said he is a willing and dedicated worker who will be an asset to the department. He is also willing to work in other departments when needed.

The city also began the process of closing an alley next to the Waurika Fire Department.

Purchase orders and claims for the City of Waurika was paid in the amount of $21,726.81.

The city will begin advising property owners near Lot 1 Block 26 of the Sycamore Addition in Waurika that Bobby Taylor is wanting to move a mobile home on the the premises.

The procedure will also be followed to notify property owners near 407 E. Iowa, Lots 15-18 of the Harper Addition in Waurika that Mary Harvey and Tyler Bowen want to move a manufactured home on the premises of 407 E. Iowa.

After the business for the city of Waurika was completed the commissioners entered the Waurika Public Works Authority meeting.

The council opened the 1 bid for the Waurika Golf Course from Michael Delaney. The commissioners voted to keep the bidding open for another 30 days. Delaney understood and said he just wants to keep the golf course open.

The commissioners approved the purchase of 12 new membranes for the Water Treatment Facility in the amount of $10,800.00. That’s around $300 less per membrane than they spent on a previous purchase.

Last but not least, the commissioners approved $39,456.54 in purchase orders and claims.

 

Citywide Cleanup April 21st

We need groups to volunteer their time cleaning up residential areas including limb and debris removal tree trimming, mowing, etc. Any equipment such as trailers, mowers, weed eaters, etc would be a tremendous help. We will supply work gloves, trash bags, bottled water and work vests.

Earth Day is a perfect chance to get out and put a little love into your town!

During this time residents will be able to dump limbs behind the street barn and tires in front of the street barn located in the 800 block of Meridian. 

Meet the Candidates for Waurika City Commission

This is your chance to get to know the candidates for seats on the Waurika City Commission.

We listed them in alphabetical order according to last names. However, we listed Mayor Carole Eakin first because she is the incumbent.

Each candidate was asked the same general questions. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves, why they wanted to serve (or continue to serve) on the city commission, and then lastly we let them say whatever they wanted that would help voters know them better.

Editor’s Note: Every candidate was given a chance to appear on video. However, some of them chose not to do so. We respect that. All the candidate’s profiles and interviews will appear in the upcoming week’s paper.

Note: Each candidate was allowed to say whatever he or she wanted and the length of each video was determined by the length of their answers.

Carole Eakin

Mayor Carole Eakin talks a little about where she grew up and her education at Oxford in England. She then talks about her time on the city commission and the things that have been accomplished during her twelve years serving the community. Mayor Eakin addresses the water rates and the state of the finances of the city. Lastly, she talks about what she would like to see accomplished for the city in the future.

Adam Brinson

Adam is the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Waurika.

He was asked the same questions posed to the other candidates. He talks about his education and how he came to live in Waurika. During the interview, he talks about his views and what inspired him to become a candidate for the city commission. He simply wants to serve the needs of the people and do what is best for the city of Waurika.

Amber Delaney

Although Amber’s interview is the least lengthy of all the interviews, she is specific and to the point. Amber talks about her work at the Terral School. She discusses the importance of family, and her desires to see the city continue to prosper.

Gary “Lebo” Duncan

Gary is a native of Waurika. His family roots run deep here. In this interview, he speaks in depth about his experiences in business, his family history, and talks about things he would like to see accomplished in the city. Gary says he wants to see the city grow and he has various ideas of how that can happen. He wants to bring his business experience and leadership skills to the city commission.

As stated earlier, there will be more about the candidates in this next week’s paper.

Candidates who did not wish to participate in the video interview include:

Bobby Taylor

James Terry

Mark Lehew

Questions Answered About Bond Election at Thursday Meeting

Several Citizens attended the meeting at the Waurika Depot Thursday evening to find out more information about Tuesday’s Bond Election.

The Bond Election will decide if citizen’s of Waurika want to pass the bond that will allow the Waurika Fire Department to purchase much needed fire equipment and vehicles.

Some of the items to be purchased will include a ladder truck, six storm shelters, battery backup sirens, a rescue truck, jaws of life.

There are several reasons for needing a ladder truck. One is the courthouse. If there was a fire in the courthouse we currently do not have a truck with a ladder that could reach the third floor. Also, there is about to be a major expansion at the Jefferson County Hospital that a ladder truck would be needed to fight any fire that may occur at that facility. The other reason is the safety of the volunteer fire fighters. Currently, they have to sometimes be on the roofs of houses that are on fire. The ladder truck would enable them to fight the fire without having to stand on the burning building’s roof.

The addition of the new storm shelters would be very beneficial. Currently, students at the high school can not use the locker rooms as a storm shelter because of the gas lines.

The new sirens will have a battery backup that will be essential if the power goes out during a storm or tornado.

Another benefit to the new trucks would be the possibility of lowing the cities insurance rating. If that happens, property insurance would go down. Waurika is currently at a class 5 and could possibly drop to a 4 or 3. The lower the rating, the lower the cost of property insurance.

Rick Smith, owner of Municipal Finance Services,  was on hand to talk about the bond and how it will affect citizen’s property taxes.

He has worked with the City of Waurika for over 20 years. He helped facilitate the Bond approved in 2004 in the amount of $320,000.00. That bond is about to expire so the new bond will just replace the 2004 one. In other words the bond will not be an additional tax as much as it will be replacing the expiring one.

Smith said during his presentation that another bond was the best route for Waurika.

If the bond passes, tax payers shouldn’t see much difference in their property taxes.

Smith says that even though the new bond is for more money, $450,000.00, it should be approved at a lower interest rate.

What will it cost tax payers?

The example he gave was that if you owned a $60,000.00 home, it should only cost the tax payer around $35.00 – $45.00 per year. It may be higher in the first few years, but as the property values increase the tax actually goes down.

The new taxes wouldn’t be due until 2019.

Like the 2004 bond, this bond would also be on a 15 year plan.

The bonds will be bid on by various banks including those in Waurika. If one of the local banks win the bid, it would be beneficial to the community.

Nobody likes to think about fires, especially property and structure fires. However, if and when they happen it helps to be more than prepared and have the essential equipment needed to but the fires out quickly and safely.

 

Waurika City Wide Cleanup April 21 2018

We need groups to volunteer their time cleaning up residential areas including limb and debris removal tree trimming, mowing, etc. Any equipment such as trailers, mowers, weed eaters, etc would be a tremendous help. We will supply work gloves, trash bags, bottled water and work vests.

Earth Day is a perfect chance to get out and put a little love into your town!

During this time residents will be able to dump limbs behind the street barn and tires in front of the street barn located in the 800 block of Meridian. 

Waurika Receives REAP Grant for 2018

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The Waurika REAP grant of $45,000 will be used for erecting walls, installing trusses, and installing the roof of the building located near the old Solitaire Mobile Homes manufacturing facility. Original intended use was for housing Oklahoma

Department of Corrections inmates. We are exploring the opportunities for housing other inmates as completion nears. The City of Waurika has committed $25,000 cash match to make a total of $70,000 to complete the project.

Candidates File for Local Offices

 The deadline for filing for office in this year’s elections was this past Friday afternoon at 5pm. 

Four filed for seats on the Waurika City Commission. 

Two of those candidates Jacob Eck and Henry Lara are seeking re-election. Eck and Lara both drew opponents.

Also filing for a seat on the Waurika City Commission are James Terry and Rickey Porterfield.

In the race for county commissioner Rickey Martin drew two opponents. Rickey will be running for re-election against Kenneth Blevins and Macey Lovett. 

Bryce Bohot did not draw an opponent in his bid for re-election as a commissioner in District 1. 

Nobody filed to run against Sandra Watkins for the office of County Assessor. 

Emily Follis will also run unopposed for her re-election bid for the office of County Treasurer. 

Jefferson County’s Associate District Judge, Dennis Gay, did not draw an opponent. 

District Attorney, Jason Hicks, is also unopposed. 

State Rep. Marcus McEntire will return to his seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Dist. 50, without having to face a challenger. 

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