City Council began its July meeting in a brand new way. This month marks the first time council openly heard comments from the public on non-agenda items.
Two citizens spoke to council before the agenda items were addressed. Oden Grube asked the council about how they will be replacing the cemetery board since all members had resigned.
Mayor Jerry Tomlinson said that the council had not yet appointed a new board but is looking into a new structure for the board as well as appointing members.
Betty Colclazier questioned the leasing of the old country club. City Manager Jim Dunegan addressed her concerns saying that the building is leased on a year to year basis in order to keep the building in good condition.
He also said the activities and uses of the building are restricted to protect the property.
City Council addressed more citizen concerns during the public hearing portion of the meeting. A zoning change will soon allow for a convenience store to be located on the corner of University Avenue and 49th Avenue in Durant.
Some residents in the area were present to speak against the zoning change. Residents such as Betty Colclazier said they do not want a convenience store in their backyards.
“I want to keep it just the way it is. It is residential and it’s our home,” said Colclazier. She said she understands progress in Durant but does not want it in her backyard.
Concerns about the store’s placement included increased traffic and noise and increased water drainage.
Citizens were informed that the store would be responsible for making sure there is no increase in water drainage but the other concerns were not addressed.
The rezoning of the property was approved. Mayor Tomlinson said this decision was partially because there was just as much if not more citizens in favor of the store.
In other business, it was announced that work is scheduled to begin on the water tower at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University campus this week.
The council also gave out its quarterly service awards. Five city employees received awards for their time with the city.
Miles Gooding of Emergency Management and 911 dispatcher Sheila Salas received five-year service wards.
Both received a certificate, lapel pin and a $50 check. Marie Goolsby from the information technology department received a 10-year service award.
She was given a certificate, lapel pin and $100 check for her services. Jerry Yandell from Community Development and Phillip Hightower from the water treatment plant both received their 15-year service awards.
Both men were given certificate, lapel pin and $150 check. Mayor Tomlinson and City Manager Jim Dunegan expressed their appreciation for the recipients’ hard work.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 924-4388 ext. 116 or on Twitter @jbreger_news