Bonus for WSS po­lice chief ap­proved, pair of projects tabled

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Burch­fiel Staff Writer mburch­fiel@nwadg.com

WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. — The city board of West Siloam Springs (Okla.) voted to give their po­lice chief a bonus and give one of­fi­cer a raise dur­ing a spe­cially-called meet­ing on Thurs­day night. The meet­ing was orig­i­nally sched­uled for ear­lier in Au­gust, but had to be post­poned be­cause there would not have been a quo­rum on the orig­i­nal date, said Mayor Elaine Carr.

Thurs­day’s meet­ing in­cluded an ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion that lasted around 30 min­utes to dis­cuss the em­ploy­ment and per­for­mance of Po­lice Chief Larry Bar­nett and Of­fi­cer Jessie Black­fox. Af­ter the ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion, board mem­ber Larry Wil­liams ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion

I think the chief has done an amaz­ing job.

Larry Wil­liams Board mem­ber

for Bar­nett’s ser­vice, es­pe­cially over the last three months.

“I think the chief has done an amaz­ing job,” Wil­liams said.

Wil­liams mo­tioned that the board award Bar­nett a $2,000 bonus, which was ap­proved unan­i­mously. Bar­nett then rec­om­mended that Black­fox re­ceive a raise. A mo­tion was made and ap­proved that Black­fox’s hourly wage be in­creased from $13 to $14.

The board then turned to an amend­ment to the board’s meet­ing date. The body voted to change the date of meet­ings to the sec­ond Thurs­day of the month for the rest of cal­en­dar year 2017, with the ex­cep­tion of September. Carr mo­tioned that September’s meet­ing be moved to Sept. 20, a Wed­nes­day, be­cause there was an­other govern­ment func­tion sched­uled for Sept. 12. The mo­tion was ap­proved.

The board also ap­proved a se­ries of pur­chase or­ders in the amount of $127,249.66, which Carr said was for rou­tine ex­pen­di­tures and ex­penses.

For dif­fer­ent rea­sons, the board elected to ta­ble both of the re­main­ing agenda items in­di­vid­u­ally. A dis­cus­sion on amend­ing a sec­tion of West Siloam Springs’

code was tabled be­cause City Ad­min­is­tra­tor Kathy Os­bourn said she was work­ing on a se­ries of code amend­ments and wanted to pass them to­gether in­stead of in­di­vid­u­ally.

Os­bourn’s salary has yet to be ap­proved, and Carr said the agenda item had been moved to September’s meet­ing.

The final agenda item, which was also tabled, was an ap­proval for a bid on a pro­posed sewer project. Wa­ter Su­per­in­ten­dent Keith Mor­gan said the project was nec­es­sary in or­der for the town to get off Siloam Springs’ sewer sys­tem, which Mor­gan said West Siloam Springs was sup­posed to do nine years ago. Carr said much of the rea­son the project had not been com­pleted yet was that the re­quired ease­ments proved dif­fi­cult to ob­tain.

Board mem­ber Robert Stephens said he wanted to see a sewer project that would reach the un­served res­i­dents on State­line Road, south of U.S. High­way 412. Mor­gan said that was a pri­or­ity, and he had a goal of ex­tend­ing ser­vice if the city could ob­tain a grant to fund the project.

Ul­ti­mately, the sewer project was tabled. Mor­gan re­quested that the item be tabled be­cause the cheap­est bid came in at over $172,000, which was higher than the $116,000 es­ti­mated by the en­gi­neer. Mor­gan also said there was con­cern from the casino, as there would have to be a hole bored on their prop­erty. The casino man­age­ment was con­cerned that the con­struc­tion could lead to an out­age, which re­cently hap­pened at a nearby casino, Mor­gan said.

The board in West Siloam Springs is sched­uled to meet next on Sept. 20.

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