City staff is hoping Mountain Lake will be open full-time soon now that the city commission approved the hiring of a property manager.
Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin said Mountain Lake camping area has been closed since May 2015 due to flooding last spring and the absence of a caretaker. They have been searching for a suitable candidate ever since.
Ervin eventually found Christie Jones, whose hiring was approved by the commission during their regularly scheduled meeting Monday.
Jones will be paid $1,500 each month and $18,000 per year for managing Mountain Lake. The city will continue to receive all camping fees and all but 75 cents of each City Lake fishing permit. The city will also receive 20 percent of the generated revenue from concession sales.
Ervin said they have been getting multiple calls a day from people all over asking when the lake would be open.
“A lot of people grew up going to Mountain Lake,” Ervin said, adding those people now want to take their own kids, as well. “It’s tradition.”
Jones will be required to live on the property, as part of the agreement. The city provides the site for the manager to place a recreational vehicle or recreational trailer as a place of residence. The city will also cover the cost of propane and electricity.
The property encompasses approximately 255 acres, which includes, but is not limited to a lake, boat ramp, boat winch, campsites with electrical connections, office, well house, portable restrooms, pavilions, picnic tables and a gate, according to the management agreement.
“She comes with good references and she has experience managing property,” Ervin said.
The city commission also approved two agenda items dealing with Tasers for the Ardmore Police Department. The first was an agreement to declare nine APD Tasers obsolete as part of a trade-up agreement with Taser International.
Once approved, the council took action on the approval to purchase 17 Tasers from Taser International. The total amount was listed at $15,803.62. Most of the cost will be covered by grant money. Approximately $100 will be paid for with GAPS tax money, according to City Finance Director Ken Campbell.
Another purchase approved included a half-ton truck for the Technical Services Department in the amount of $20,598. The truck is a replacement and was budgeted for at $23,500, according to Creede Tibbs, director of Technical Services.
One of the resolutions approved by the commission Monday was to adopt an amended and restated ICMA-RC plan and trust document in regards to 401A plans.
Campbell said ICMA-RC, the city’s current retirement company for the city’s 457 plan and their prior 401A plan, informed them there have been changes in the IRS requirements for “qualified” 401A plans.
“We currently have three open 401A plans open with ICMA,” Cambell said, adding one of the plans has a balance of $225.
The balance belongs to a former employee that terminated just as the city was switching from the 401A back to a different plan, he said. While it may take awhile to locate the former employee and issue all the paperwork needed to get the former employee his money, Cambell said they will find him.
Cambell also recommended the commission to approve the resolution to amend and reinstate the ICMA-RC plan to remain in IRS compliance until it can be terminated properly, which they did.
The city also held several public hearings, followed by resolutions that were approved for minor subdivision plats, a preliminary plat and a request to allow a duplex on the northeast corner of 10th Avenue Northeast and L Street Northeast.
Consent agenda items approved included the following:
• Mayor and city commission appointments to the Ardmore Public Library Board for Gene Hill to serve his first three-year term and for Lesley Dvorak to serve a second three-year term with terms to expire in May 2019.
• Application of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance