Durant City Council met at 4 p.m. Tuesday discussing the approval of gifts, grants, and changes for the city. Among the changes the council made was the decrease in benefits for the city manager and assistant city manager.
The council approved combining the sick and vacation leave for the two positions as personal leave. They also approved setting a maximum accumulation for personal hours to 640 hours per year. This will be a 50 percent decrease in the current accrual rate for the two positions’ yearly sick and vacation leave.
Another change made in the council meeting was a declaration of the Wheeler Federal Building as surplus. The decision was made to authorize the sale of the building.
“It wasn’t my idea to sell it.” said Council Member Pat Phelps but he agreed the sale was needed. The building had already been presented to one potential buyer before the council met but no negotiations had begun.
Council members agreed that the repairs needed for the building were not in the city’s budget. City Manager and therefore authorized its sale.
Repairs that will be made include the replacement of two raw water pumps for the water treatment plant. The two pumps to be replaced pump water from Blue River and have recently failed. The council approved the motion to declare this an emergency and replace the pumps.
During the meeting, the council also approved the acceptance of grants to the city including grants from the Oklahoma department of Emergency Management to send three students to Northeastern State University’s Certified Emergency Manager Program and a $3,000 grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries for the cost of overdrive Ebook collection.
Gift approved by the council include a property gift by Allen and Betty Wheeler and future testamentary gifts from George Pendleton Jr. for the procurement of books for the Durant Public Library.
Several road closings were approved for the next few months. September closings will be Sept. 6 for Durant High School Homecoming Parade at 6 p.m. and Sept. 29 for a street carnival on Market Square from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Brookside Drive will be closed on Sept. 22 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. for the annual Cubmobile Cub Scouts event.
In October streets will be closed for the Durant Elks Lodge Carnival from Oct. 17-20, Colton’s Run on Market Square Oct. 20 and Downtown Trick-or-Treat Oct. 31.
Routes and street closings were approved for the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma (MCSO) 5K and 1-mile walk on Nov. 3.
Finally in December streets will be closed for Downtown Holiday on Market Square on Dec. 1 and the Annual Shopping Spree Giveaway on Dec. 18 from approximately 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.