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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Despite little action, council accomplishes a lot

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  • Tuesday's city council meeting had a lot of talking points on the agenda — but many were either tabled or had no action taken.
    That being said, progress was still made in many areas.
    During an executive session, city treasurer Shonda Barnes, who also works in the capacity of city manager, was given her annual evaluation and was approved by the council to continue in her position. She received no change in status or in pay.
    During the same executive session, council members evaluated the policies and procedures of the fire department, and requested financial records.
    "We were asking for the information because we're in the process of applying for a grant to extend the fire station," Barnes explained. "We were just trying to get an idea how much money they have and how much we have in our budget."
    The purpose of the policy and procedures evaluation was due to a disagreement between the fire department and the city.
    "We have been trying for a couple of months to get them to provide the financial information, but they were refusing," Barnes said. "But they gave us what we wanted now, and everything seems to be fine."
    During the public works meeting, discussions were heard in regards to raising water, sewer and trash rates.
    Tuesday night's agenda read that the city would discuss and take possible action to "raise the water deposit for renters from $125 to $200." Barnes said the discussion also led to raising current water and sewer rates. Currently, residents pay $15 for the first 2,000 gallons or water and $3.50 for the next 1,000 gallons. Discussions were to raise the fee to $17 for the first 2,000 and $4 for the next 1,000 gallons.
    "But we haven't decided for sure," she said. "We tabled all of the possible raises just to discuss further what we want."
    Sewer and trash rates were also discussed, raising them $1 or $2 per month.
    "It's really not that big of a raise, and we still have some of the cheapest rates in the area compared to towns like Madill and Tishomingo," Barnes said.
    Rates were raised by similar amounts in 2009 and 2011. Barnes said when she took her position in 2011, she suggested higher rates so when fees have to be raised, they wouldn't have to do it so often.
    "At the moment, we're just breaking even on these things," Barnes said. "We still have repairs and bills to pay in these departments, just like any other city.
    "The difference between us is, we don't have the customer numbers like Ardmore does, so we have to keep prices up some. Even though we're a smaller town, we still have to pay the same price for the parts."
    Page 2 of 2 - In a final bit of news, Mannsville will soon have new greeting signage thanks to soon-to-be Eagle Scout Collin Wright. His Eagle Scout project is to build welcome signs for the community. The city had to approve the project and get a resolution to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation before he can begin. Supplies have been donated, and the city will offer services Wright might need by way of machinery and some labor.
    "We're very pleased with the way they will look," Barnes said. "He's done a great job."
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