The Lone Grove Water and Sewerage Trust Authority awarded a bid for a gravity sewer line extension during their regular meeting Monday night that will serve a new commercial development. The bid was awarded to the lowest bidder, Chaney Construction out of Tishomingo, at $137,509. 

The authority received a total of four bids for the project. The next highest bid for the project was over $146,000 and the overall highest bid submitted was over $181,000. Mayor Jeff Matthews said their engineer estimated the project to be approximately $178,700. 

Authority member Bryan Marr said with a $10,000 difference between the lowest bid and next lowest bid, although none of the city council members had heard of Chaney Construction, the work is being done through pastures, not on Main Street. 

“Ten thousand dollars is ten thousand dollars,” Marr said. “I think we should give them a chance, see if we’re comfortable with them.” 

The new commercial development is being head-up by former city council member Roy Neill. He said the development will be inspired by a very nice strip mall located in Pauls Valley and is hoping they can first get several restaurants to locate there. 

“This has all been just part of an accident. There was no plans for any property along the highway,” Neill said. “This has all become available the last four or five years and I see the need for a shopping center strip mall in Lone Grove.

“The city operates on a tax base and we need to keep more of it at home.” 

There is a total of seven acres where the development will take place, just east of UPS on U.S. Highway 70, City Manager Ian O’Neal said. 

The authority also approved a consent order to extend the close date on work at the wastewater treatment plant. O’Neal said the initial closing date was missed due to weather and the Department of Environmental Quality is allowing more time on the project. 

Lone Grove City Council also met following the authority meeting on Monday night. The council approved a resolution for a right-of-way, public utility and encroachment agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. 

Matthews said ODOT is going to put shoulders along the highway. O’Neal added, it is honoring the agreement they currently have in place. 

The council also approved establishing a fee process policy and procedure for payment of fee for copies of city documents, records, research or services and those obtained under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. O’Neal said while they have had a fee in place, it is something they needed to have on file and in writing. 

“We needed to get something in writing to lock those fees down,” he said. 

Both the authority and city council also approved an audit for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. CPA Casey Russell presented the audit during the authority meeting, which he said looked good. 

“It’s a good opinion, nothing to complain about,” Russell said. 

Council members, the city manager and city attorney also went into executive session just after 8 p.m. Monday night to discuss pending legal actions with Opengate Technologies and Michael D. and Pamela S. Richards.