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City employees receive Christmas bonuses

By Jeff Kaley, Waurika News-Democrat, Okla.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Nov. 13--WAURIKA -- City of Waurika employees will find a little extra something in their stockings during the Christmas holiday, after the Waurika City Commission and Waurika Public Works Authority voted to distribute bonuses in December.

During a regular meeting on Nov. 4, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $100 bonus for 16 employees, with only recent hire Jim Simmons to be excluded from the bonus distribution. Simmons was hired in September to coordinate and oversee the red brick street renovation project on Main Street and will be employed by the city only until the project is complete.

In a report on the renovation project, City Manager Chuck Brown presented an update on the cost-to-date of the project, which showed a total of $29,247.14 had been spent.

Brown noted a side project to sell bricks to individuals and businesses had collected $2,200, thus far, adding he anticipated the upcoming holiday period would result in an increase in brick sales.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation has contributed concrete to the project, and when the Waurika Chamber of Commerce board had met earlier that day, board members voted to assist the city with the labor cost for the concrete work.

Over the past two meetings, the commissioners and WPWA trustees have discussed a move to designate someone to temporarily assume the responsibilities of the city manager if Brown is absent or incapacitated for a prolonged period.

That matter was settled in the meeting at City Hall, when City Treasurer Rachel Gallaher was selected to be temporary city manager. Before voting unanimously on Gallaher's appointment, the commissioners discussed the possibility of compensating the temporary city manager, but couldn't come to an agreement on how or if compensation would work.

"Rachel is the logical number two person, since she knows the money side of city government," Brown noted.

In other action, the commissioners and the WPWA trustees approved the following.

- Going out for bids on an insurance company to provide property and inland marine insurance.

- Paying $677.47 as the city's pro-rata share of the Jefferson County visual inspection budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

- A list of regular meetings for calendar year 2014. Most meetings will remain on the first Monday of each month, with the following exceptions: Monday, Feb. 10; Monday, March 10; Monday, June 9; Monday, Sept., 8; Monday, Nov. 10; and Monday, Dec. 8

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- A list of paid holidays for calendar year 2014. The designated holidays are: New Year's Day, Jan. 1; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20; Presidents Day, Feb. 17; Memorial Day, May 26; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, Sept. 1; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; Thanksgiving, Nov. 27 and Nov. 28; and, Christmas, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.

- A resolution approving the assignment and transfer of the franchise previously granted to Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. and the distribution system installed, operated and maintained thereunder and therefore, which is an amendment to City Ordinance No. 090297-1.

The commissioners also approved:

- The following claims totaling $11,850.99 on the General Fund: Police, $2,148.38; Fire, $1,137.60; Street, $7,048.14; and, Ambulance, $1,516. 87.

- The following claims on the General Fund: Rural Fire Fund, $2,498.45; and, Police Equipment Fund, $170.49.

- Minutes from a regular meeting on Oct. 7 and a special meeting on Oct. 14.

- Treasurer Gallaher's report for October.

The WPWA trustees approved the following:

- Claims totaling $9,759.41 on the WPWA Fund, which included: Sanitation, $1,140.67; Administration, $323.49; Golf, $3,667.10; and, Water, $4,628.15.

- Claims on the Equipment Fund totaling $1,622.18.

- Minutes from a regular meeting on Oct. 7 and a special meeting on Oct. 14.

- Treasurer Gallaher's report for October.

Vice Mayor Carole Eakin asked Brown for an update on construction of the new Department of Corrections Work Center that is being built in the east industrial park. Progress on that project had slowed due to a lack of DOC funds to complete the roof on the structure.

Brown said the DOC had released the engineer who had begun the project, but that position had been refilled.

"They've looked at putting a commercial roof on the building, which will save about $30,000. Plus, they got $35,000 from the City of Duncan, so there's enough to fix the roof," Brown noted.

"(State) Senator Don Barrington said he would help find some money to finish the project, which is going to cost $150,000 to $200,000 to complete."

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(c)2013 Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.)

Visit Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.) at waurikanewsdemocrat.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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