The Durant City Council met for the regular January meeting Tuesday evening in council chambers at Durant City Hall.
The council presented city employee service awards, given quarterly for those employees ac-ruing 5 or more years with the city.
The ten-year awards were given with a certificate, pin at $100 awarded to Jimmy Vandevander-Parks Department, Jordan Ward-Street Department, Drew Hale, Brandon Laxton, and Mike Bush with Durant Police Department.
The five employees have 60 years service collectively.
Durant Police Reserve Chief Jeff Ballew and Durant Police Reserve Captain John Wyatt were recognized by Durant Police Chief David Houser and the Durant City Council for their work heading up the Shop with a Cop program in Durant.
In the 10 years the program been in place, over $200,000 has been raised.
This contributes directly to families well being and makes their overall Christmas better.
Wyatt and Ballew have 61 years service collectively.
Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson praised city employees and first responders, fireman, police street and sanitation department workers for their efforts in braving the elements during our recent cold snap during the holiday season.
Tomlinson expressed gratitude on behalf of citizens for their service to the citizens of Durant.
The first line of business at a council meeting it to approve the record of the last meeting.
The “minutes” from the December 2017 meeting were approved.
Those minutes included the approval of a 3-year extension of contract between the City of Durant and the City Manager Tim Rundel. This after an over 2-hour confidential executive session between council members.
Rundel said, “I was very pleased the council approved the 3 years extension. I think it was an excellent gesture by the mayor and council to show their support for me and my administration.”
He continued, “Since the council approved the extension, I’ve received a lot of positive support from the community and citizens, which means a lot to me. My wife and I are remodeling a home, right here in the middle of Durant. We both look forward to many years here and making friends and life-long relationships here in our new hometown.”
In other city business, an update to the 911 emergency system was approved. The upgrade may include the acquisition of equipment to take calls for that system under a lease purchase agreement.
A memorandum of understanding, between the City of Durant and the International Firefighters’ Association, local to Durant, #3061 was approved.
Each fireman as part of that agreement, will receive $1,000.
The AFF, Local 3061 Fiscal Year 2017-18 collective bargaining agreement authorized the mayor to act in that negotiation.
The council voted to support and approve a 2017 Assistance To Firefighters Grant for vehicle and equipment upgrades for fire department.
Durant City property at South 22nd and Mississippi Street was approved as surplus and the first steps can now be taken to facilitate that sale.
A resolution of support was passed for an incentive package for”Project Hickory” and to support the Durant Industrial Authority.
That project is in the planning stages and will provide more jobs and industry to the city, according to officials.
Council approved a Memorandum of Understating C 2018-02 with Rural Water and Sewer District #5 for infrastructure improvements for the new SteelFab Inc. Facility at 446 Country Club Road in Durant.
The Parks Department’s Marty Pope gave a report on the Carl Albert Park upgrades and refurbishments.
He explained that cable is being buried across the park currently that was previously overhead.
This will improve the overall appearance of the park.
A 30 feet by 80 feet basketball concrete slab will be poured soon.
That “Dream Court” should be dedicated in March of this year. A new driveway entrance to the park will be built by city crews this spring, also.
A project for later this coming spring will be to re-purpose the tennis courts into a parking area.
The swimming pool pre-bid meeting was held January 4 for the refurbishment of the city pool. That bid deadline is January 16th.
Construction on the city pool should begin next month in February.
The pool will open on schedule in May.
An outdoor adult fitness area and children’s playground are currently still in the planning stages.
The Durant Airport Authority/ DAA met with the same members as council. They approved authorization for a market assessment study at the Durant Regional Airport at a cost of $15,000.
KSA Engineering won approval for a market assessment study for the airport.
The Durant City Utilities Authority / DCUA met with the same members as council. That board approved the early stages of an upgrade to city water meters. These “smart type” meters, similar to high tech electric meters will allow for drive by reading of water meters. This will save the city money and time with the eventual city wide upgrade to that system.
Council meetings are streamed on the internet and are held on the second Tuesday of every month.