Okmulgee in the News
By Betty Anderson
The city was busy this month as indicated in these reports from its departments:
Community Development reported permits issued included one (1) new home, thirteen (13) addition/remodels, two (2) miscellaneous, nine (9) commercial construction and ten (10) sign permits. Additionally 153 electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits were issued.
Code Enforcement reported they issued 94 violations for February.
Okmulgee Police Department reported 1,057 calls for service, 171 reports made, 61 crimes committed, 123 bookings and 20 traffic accidents. Property valued at $14,652 was stolen and property valued at $4,723 was recovered. Two new officers have started working and one is scheduled for the academy at the end of the month.
Okmulgee Fire Department reported they are at full staff with the new firefighters working out well. They are working on getting some newer trucks from the forestry surplus to replace the older trucks they have now. There were 60 fire calls.
Municipal Court reported they had receipts of $29,280.04 for February.
Technology Services/Planning and Zoning Department reported they are continuing to work with PSO for possible energy efficiency credits. They fixed and updated many computer/printers throughout the city. They have completed phase 1 of getting WIFI to camp locations that might possibly be served at the lake. They assisted in migrating the Police Department video server over to the new hardware. They installed new card catalog computers at the library. They worked with the Sales Tax Commission regarding Sales Tax issues. Comprehensive procedure for starting a new business in town was written up and given to Main Street.
By Betty Anderson
The Okmulgee Library reported that they spoke to the B.A.L.L. (Be Active Live Longer) group about the many services the library offers. She also explained to the group what the 3-D printer was and took examples to show what it was able to produce.
The Stonebridge Kindergarten children came for a special story time and tour of the library.
Kristen attended an E-Rate workshop learning the new forms and filing periods. She is grateful to the consultants from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries for helping with the questions from this confusing program.
They reported income from fines, copies, lost books, ILL’s was $1,422.31. They had 50 new borrowers, 352 reference questions and 292 new items added. The door count was 5,519 and the daily averaged circulation was 245 for the month, noting that it had decreased from last year. There were 1,297 computer use patrons. Meeting rooms were used 101 times. Additionally they delivered books to the home bound and nursing homes.
By Betty Anderson
The Council voted to accept the resignation from Rob Robertson as Council Member for Ward IV and announced the vacant position. They will determine at a later date whether to fill the vacancy by appointment or call for a special election.
As stated in the City Charter.
HOW COUNCIL VACANCIES ARE FILLED
Section 14. By Appointment. If, for any cause, a vacancy or vacancies exist on the city council, said vacancy or vacancies may be filled by a majority of its remaining members within sixty (60) days of the occurrence of said vacancy. Said interim appointment to be only for the unexpired term of the office filled.
Section 14-A. By Election. In the event the city council does not fill vacancy or vacancies on the council, in the manner provided in the preceding paragraph, within sixty (60) days from the occurrence of said vacancy, then and in that event the city clerk in the manner hereinafter provided shall call an election to fill said vacancy or vacancies for the unexpired term of said office.
Section 14-B. Election-How Called. When any office on the city council shall have been vacant for a period of sixty (60) days, the city clerk shall prepare and sign a certificate so stating, giving the date of the occurrence of said vacancy, and the date of said office by appointment. Copies of said certificate shall immediately be distributed to all council members and the city manager and the original entered on the minutes of the next regular or special council meeting. Concurrently with the entry of said certificate on the minutes of the council, the city clerk shall present to the council a “call for election”. The original of said call shall be entered upon the minutes of the council, said call for election shall specify the purpose of said election, designate with particularity the office or offices to be filled thereby, and fix the date of said election, which in no event shall be more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the entry of said call. The call for election shall be published not less than ten (10) days (2 publications) before the election date in a newspaper of general circulation in the city of Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
By Betty Anderson
Okmulgee City Council considered and voted to appoint Jack Willis, to the City of Okmulgee Board of Adjustment. This appointment shall be for a period of three (3) years subject to renewal in March of 2020. Willis is a citizen of Okmulgee, originally from California. He retired from working as a mortgage banker for 42 years.
By Betty Anderson
The electrical wiring around the Council House Square and in other areas of downtown Okmulgee is in desperate need of updating. During the Pecan Festival last year it was discovered that there was not enough electric service in the downtown area to handle the three (3) day event. It was discussed at that time it might be beneficial to the City, Chamber and Main Street to look into upgrading the electric around the square and adding additional service. The Chamber had to rent generators last year to supplement the required electricity.
The City Council voted to approve to authorize a joint venture between the City of Okmulgee Community Trust and the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce for the installation of electric service in the downtown area around the Council House Square and extending down to Muskogee Avenue by providing the funding, not to exceed $20,000 to the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce.
The account for electric service will be in the Chamber’s name, which will make it easier when there are events happening in the downtown area. Based on cost estimates, the material cost will run close to $20,000 and the installation should be about the same. The City will purchase the materials, which will be the City’s contribution and the Chamber will hire the electrician to do the installation for their contribution to the project. The City will cover the Chamber’s contribution at the time of installation and the City will hold out $5,000 each year, until paid, from the Tourism monies given by agreement to the Chamber each year.
By Betty Anderson
Vicki Jones reminded Okmulgee City Council that April is Autism Awareness Month and she wanted to ask if the City would color the City of Okmulgee’s fountain blue again and promised to show up with a banner and to gift them with the signature blue cookies. Jones said, “Together is better, you never know who you may run into, whether they have Autism or any other type of limited ability. The more we know about what Autism is, the better the community can better accept it and respect it.”
The Autism Society celebrates National Autism Awareness Month by promoting Autism awareness, Autism acceptance and draws attention to the tens of thousands facing an Autism diagnosis each year.
For more information and to sign up for the Autism Society Newsletter you may go to this link:
PREMIUM BEEF SALE
The 35th Annual 4-H/FFA Premium Beef Sale will take place at the Okmulgee County Fairgrounds on March 21st, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Please note that this sale is on a Tuesday evening. In the past, the sale was on a different night of the week. The Carcass Sale is sponsored by the Okmulgee County Cattleman’s Association. 4-H and FFA members from Okmulgee County will sell their halves of beef from the Okmulgee County Beef Performance Program at the public auction. We will have 50 halves of beef available to the general public. This auction provides a great opportunity for anyone to be able to purchase a top quality half of beef for their own use.
Carcass data and pictures of each steer will be shown for the 4-H/FFA members. The carcass data includes quality grade (prime, choice, select, and standard) as well as loin eye size, fat cover, internal fat and hot carcass weight. The highest bidder of each carcass half will have the beef cut and wrapped to their preference at Walke Bros. in Claremore for 75 cents per pound of the hot carcass weight.
Participants in the program are required to complete a market steer record book. This consists of recording their calves weight and weight gain. It also includes calculating cost of feed, veterinary cost, trucking, income, and prize money. Management and feeding practices are included as well. This record book is utilized for 150 days during the time the animals are being fattened. The performance program consists of three areas that the animals are being judged. The first being rate of gain; the second area is carcass data and the third area is show points. 4-H/FFA members are responsible for showing their calves in the Fall Fair and the Spring Livestock Show. 4-H/FFA members in this program include students from Okmulgee County only.
Winners of the program have won trophies and cash awards. The Bell Ringer award goes to the steer that has earned the most points during the course of the competition. The Reserve Bell Ringer earns the second highest number of points. The Carcass Champion has the highest number of points in the carcass division. The Rate of Gain Champion gained the most weight during the course of the competition. Finally the Show Ring Champion is determined by a judge. There are Show Ring winners in the fall and spring shows.
For more information about this program contact the Okmulgee County OSU Extension Office at 918-756-1958.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation invites you to join in a project dedication for the restoration of the Council House on March 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. This historic project represents a new day for the Nation as we begin to restore the Council House and tell the stories of the Muscogee people who came before, the battles they fought, and the legacy they wished to leave for the entire Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
From 1878 to 1906, the Creek Council House functioned as the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s seat of government in Indian Territory. However, following a series of Federal decrees, tribally-owned buildings and schools in Indian Territory transferred to US governmental control and jurisdiction. It was eventually sold as federal government property to the City of Okmulgee in 1919.
After almost 90 years, the Nation regained ownership over the Council House in 2010. This is the only pre-statehood structure that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation owns. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 1961 and reflects its importance not only to the Muscogee people, but also its historical significance to the United States.
The completely renovated Council House will for the first time present the history, context, and present-day operations of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal government. The exhibits will be designed to spotlight key government activities and historical events that took place within the Council House between 1878 and 1906. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation will once again use various rooms for tribal governmental meetings and it will be a contemporary space serving contemporary Tribal government functions. The restoration of the Council House will be complete in 2017 and open to the public in mid-2018. Please join us as we celebrate the beginning of the careful restoration of the Council House.
Attending will be:
Chief Floyd, Principal Chief, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Speaker Lucian Tiger, National Council, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Mike Payne, CEO, Onefire Holding Company
Sean Kouplen, Board Chairman, CODEC
John Griffin, Selser Schaefer Architects
Warren Ross, President, Ross Group
Christopher Azbell, Okmulgee Main Street President & Secretary of the Interior, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
The event location: Muscogee (Creek) Nation Council House, 106 W. 6th, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, 74447
Reception to Follow: Morty’s Smokehouse, 104 Morton Ave., Okmulgee, OK 74447
Rain Contingency Location: Mabrey Bank Meeting Hall, 111 East 6th St., Okmulgee, OK 74447
About Muscogee (Creek) Nation Council House Restoration
More Information: http://creekcouncilhouse.omeka.net/
AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF
As required by Section 311, Title 25 of the Oklahoma Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Board of County Commissioners of Okmulgee County will hold a regular meeting on March 20, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in the County Commissioners Conference Room in the County Courthouse, located at 314 W. 7th, Okmulgee.
NOTE: The Board may discuss, vote to approve, vote to disapprove, vote to table or decide not to discuss any item on the agenda.
1. Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
2. Possible approval of minutes from regular meeting
3. Input by the Public on any non-agenda items
4. Order of Business:
A. Discussion and possible approval of Officers’ Reports
B. Discussion and possible approval of Blanket Purchase Orders
C. Discussion and possible approval of Employee Acknowledgment Forms
D. Discussion and possible approval of submitted Utility Permits
E. Discussion and possible approval of Private Property Agreements
F. Discussion and possible action concerning Burn Ban for Okmulgee County
G. Discussion and possible approval of Resolution to dispose of equipment
H. Discussion and possible approval of Lease Agreement for Health Department
building in Beggs
I. Possible approval of monthly Appropriations
5. Report from Emergency Management Director
6. New Business
7. Discussion and possible approval of claims and/or signing of documents
8. Vote to go into Executive Session to discuss a confidential communication matter with the Board
of County Commissioners’ Attorney
25 O.S. §307(B) (4) Executive Sessions: Confidential communications between a public body and its attorney concerning a pending investigation, claim or action if the public body with the advice of its attorney, determines that disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process the claim or conduct a pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest.
9. Vote to return from Executive Session
10. Discussion and possible vote on matters discussed in Executive Session
Name/Title of Person Posting This Notice: Becky Thomas/County Clerk
Date: March 16, 2017 Signature: __________________________________
Pictured, left to right: Lion Dolph Hayden, Lion James Thompson, Lion Brenda Thompson, and President Lion R.C. Morrow. Photo by Dean Craig
By Dean Craig Okmulgee Lion
Tuesday's Lions Club regularly scheduled program had to be cancelled and re-scheduled, but not to worry because we had the two newest members waiting in the wings to give their 15 minutes-of-fame speeches. This is the one time that members can boast, brag, complain, or share information they probably wouldn't normally share, and not worry about being fined for "advertising" by the Tail-Twister.
First up was Dolph Hayden, Executive Director of the Okmulgee County Family YMCA. Dolph stated that his grandparents and his parents were all native Okmulgeeans, however, his father got a job in California in the fiberglass industry, and that was where he was born. Another business opportunity presented itself so the family moved to Ohio, where Dolph began his education from kindergarten through the fourth grade, before his parents decided to move back "home".
He attended Okmulgee Schools from the fifth grade through high school graduation in 1979, participating in football and wrestling. He and his wife, Page, were high school sweethearts but her path took her to the University of Oklahoma, while his path took him to the U.S. Navy because he was not all that enamored with school at that time. He spent two years in Memphis and two years in Key West as a jet airplane electrician, flying all over the world as a radar jammer.
Upon his return to Okmulgee, he and Page re-united and married, and he enrolled at "Tech" (as OSUIT was called then) in electronics and "bagging" groceries at Warehouse Market. He continued his education at Northeastern State University, earning a bachelor's degree and, later, obtained a master's degree. Computer Technology was just emerging around that time so he was hired to teach a software class part-time through Green Country Technology Center and OSUIT. He was "hooked" on teaching, becoming a full-time instructor in Electronics at OSUIT for the next twenty-plus years. With his military time, plus his teaching years, he was able to retire at a young age due to the points-system. He retired as the Dean of the Electronics Department.
When the Director position for the YMCA became available, he decided to apply for it, even though he had not worked in the YMCA system, and thinking he probably wouldn't get the job, but he did. So, for the past three years, this has been his passion. When he attended his first Oklahoma Directors' meeting in Oklahoma City, he expected a room full of people. Instead, there were 12. His point was that not many cities the size of Okmulgee has a YMCA facility, particularly not as nicely-built as ours, which speaks volumes for the people who initially supported this project. Continued support of the community is vital, particularly financially. Any support that can be provided, whether financial, volunteer, or just enjoying the programs or the facility, is needed to continue this much-needed asset to the community.
Next up was Brenda Thompson, whose husband James Thompson, has been a long-time active member, not only of the Lions Club, but the entire community. Brenda was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon until her senior year of high school when they moved to California. She married a Californian graduate of Oral Roberts University and moved to Oklahoma in 1977, raising her three daughters in the Tulsa area. Brenda and her girls attended Christian Chapel, an Assembly of God Church, and were very active in all church programs, including Royal Family Kids. This is a national organization that sponsors a week-long camp for foster care children and, according to Brenda, was the reason one of her daughters adopted a child.
Brenda says her area of expertise is in catering, decorating, and planning wedding receptions, banquets, and weekly Wednesday evening meals for 160-190 people. She was employed by the church from 1996-2015 as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Senior Pastor, the Youth Pastor, the Minister of Music, and any other staff who needed anything. Brenda recently used her talents to decorate the Lions Club Sweetheart Banquet held at Morty's and she did an excellent job. Brenda said that the Lions Club is a natural fit for her because she is accustomed to serving and being of service.
The Lions Club is pleased to welcome these two new members to share in the blessings of service to this community. We still have a few slots remaining for a few more good men and women. "WE SERVE".
P.S. Remember, we will be serving pancakes next Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. We will be looking for you.