, Muskogee, OK

January 23, 2013

Trustees decide on water project

— By Chesley Oxendine

Times Correspondent

Plans to bring water to South Georgetown Road both expanded and moved closer to fruition during the Fort Gibson Board Of Trustees’ Jan. 14 meeting.

With both Cherokee Nation representative Cason LeBlanc and Holloway, Updike and Bellen engineer Greg Armstrong on hand, board members discussed offering city water to possible customers on Morgan Road and River Road.

Armstrong said that optional add-ons and alternates within the approved budget could pay for the additional “spurs” off the main line.

LeBlanc said the project expansion could, at least, be planned out and adjusted as necessary.

Board member Brad Clinkenbeard concurred with the Cherokee representative.

“It needs to be engineered,” he said. “We find out if they want water and then if only one person wants it, we drop it off the project.”

By the end of the discussion, the board decided to engineer plans for Georgetown and Morgan Roads and move the line south of U.S. 62 instead of boring under the road itself.

Potential sidewalks for Pierce Street, Boydstun Street and Walnut Street during their rehabilitation also came into question during the meeting.

“I was coming down Pierce Street and saw 10 cars parked along the sidewalk,” Clinkenbeard said. “People have changed garages to living spaces, too. You can walk down 60-70 percent of the sidewalk, but you’re still going to have to go into the street at some point.”

Board member Myra Cookson protested removing the sidewalks altogether, however.

“You still need at least one,” she said.

Mayor Stephen Hill said the board had previously considered a sidewalk along one side of the roads.

The board elected to keep that idea 4-1, with Clinkenbeard voting “no.” The construction company will decide on which side they build the new sidewalk.

Additional agenda items discussed or voted on include:

• After consulting with Darla Briggs and dog catcher Jim Whitehead, the board voted to express its preference for transportation of captured animals rather than euthanasia, “within budgetary constraints.” Mayor Stephen Hill informed Briggs they would have further discussion of spay and neuter laws at a later meeting.

• Chief of Police Clint Vernon said he wants to place at least one officer in Fort Gibson’s schools. The officer, and potentially two reserves, would float between the three schools, “showing our presence out there,” Vernon said.

• Vernon said several new reserve officers would be receiving training at a reserve school in Muskogee — on their own dime. “It helps get the right kind of person, if they have to pay for it on their own,” he said.

• The board voted in Resolution 2013-001, placing elections for the Second Ward, Fourth Ward and Town Treasurer on April 2.