Bonus for WSS police chief approved, pair of projects tabled
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.