City forms Cemetery Board at April meeting
By Alisha Thompson
Councilmen made quick work of the April 11 City Council agenda. Mayor Brian Davis was absent from the meeting.
A rough draft of the 2022-23 budget for the City of Davis was presented to councilmen for review. City Manager Andy Holland explained the city is trying to move toward a more clear picture of what the revenues generated by the City of Davis. “Today we are not looking for budget approval, but rather just an introduction of the budget,” Holland said. “The next 30 days our city council will digest all the details and ask questions.” Holland went on to explain that the numbers will change until the council approves the budget.
Councilmen attended a budget workshop Tuesday at press time to discuss the budget in further detail. Holland hopes to have the budget finalized by the May and accepted by June 1. This will be ahead of the mandated June 15 acceptance date for the city’s budget by the State of Oklahoma.
A newly formed Cemetery Board will oversee the functions of the cemetery with the help of officials at city hall. “We talked about needing a body of citizens with interest to help manage the cemetery. We looked at our boards and the ordinances that relate to them. We had an Airport Board. We are striking that out since we no longer have a municipal airport. In it’s place, we are replacing it with a cemetery board,” Holland said.
Holland explained that a small group of citizens showed up to a meeting to help with reaching out to citizens, take input and help manage the cemetery. The board will form rules and regulations. Holland said they will not have authority to incur costs or commit the city. “Their recommendation is important,” Holland said.
Rolanda Rogers was voted to serve as the newly formed Cemetery Board’s chairman. She will serve as the chairperson for three years. Sharon Bays will serve as the Cemetery Board’s secretary for one year. Jimmy Gee will serve as the treasurer for the Cemetery Board for two years.
Holland presented the idea of hiring individuals on contract to mow Greenhill and Oakridge Cemeteries. This proposal was presented after the cemetery groundskeeper announced his retirement. Holland explained that if this positioned was hired that the city would not fill a position at the cemetery. It would be covered by city employees if there was unexpected work that was needed. This turned out to be the longest conversation of the night ultimately ending with no action being taken.
Councilman Clint Grinstead questioned hiring contracted employees when the cost of the mowing contracts presented for both cemeteries could pay for one full time employee for the city. Since the contract was seasonal there would be someone needed to cover the cemetery for the six months the contract didn’t cover. Grinstead was not alone in feeling that awarding this contract was a bad idea considering the water rate increase that just took place.
Councilmen voted to transfer money from the Contingency Fund to Turner Falls Operating Fund to reimburse the expenses related to repeater upgrades, 12 radios, installation and labor. Additionally, a Supplemental Budget Amendment was approved to reallocate funds for the communication upgrades.
Resolution #596 Authorizing the Chickasaw Nation to connect the Washita Medical Center, LLC to its sewer line was approved. The Chickasaw Nation said that they would allow the Washita Medical Center to use their sewer line if the council approved. Washita Medical Center has also requested to be annexed into the City of Davis.
Resolution #597 Authorization to Establish a Net 30 Day Account with the Cary Company was approved. The Cary Company is a vendor for Turner Falls Park. They carry a variety of items needed at the park. “They are getting a commitment from us that states we will pay it to their terms,” said City Treasurer/Clerk Susie Suther.