The Durant City Council met for the March meeting at City Hall Tuesday evening.
Mayor Hoffman asked for a moment of silence for Durant Police Chief David Houser’s 22 year old son Dalton who passed away.
James Dalton led the opening prayer and asked for God to “be with us as a community.”
He asked for courage, wisdom and strength. He said, “help us to do the right thing in all that we do.”
The first line of business was approval of several special event permits.
The Durant Area Chamber of Commerce was granted approval for 2017 the Southeastern Homecoming parade, Veteran’s Day parade and the Durant Christmas parade.
The council awarded a bid for internet services that was explained as a much better deal while gaining higher speeds online.
They renewed Eagle Med membership for air ambulance for the coming year.
Each City employee and their family has this service as part of their benefit package.
Mobile Food trucks are economy boosters in cities who embrace them, according to studies.
Because of this, many cities are making their communities more food truck friendly.
The Durant City Council along with City Manager Tim Rundel amended the Durant code to allow for mobile food units.
Marty Cook of Community Planning explained the intricate details of the amended code, fees and all associated with the food trucks.
Councilman Chad Hitchcock has made the food truck one of his pet projects, according to Mayor Stewart Hoffman.
Hoffman said, “We’ve actually been working on the food truck concept for quite some time. Councilman Hitchcock couldn’t be here tonight. It’s great we finally got it done and get the fees where they need to be so we can promote some food trucks.”
He said other cities promote food trucks and it’s time Durant did too.
Hoffman said, “Imagine them coming to Carl Albert Park. Think about the Multi-Sports Complex. It will bring people to those places the trucks are at, as well as other places. We can do it at the pool and many places to get people to come to those locations.”
Councilman Bill Orr said his favorite would be a Taco Truck.
He said, “I wouldn’t eat there everyday, but when I’m in that area, I’m sure I would enjoy some great food.”
The Durant City Fee Schedule was updated to reflect current costs and expenditures.
The City Garage needs more room so an addition was approved.
Bill Payment Services, a company that has kiosks and take utility payments was approved as the tool for helping the city collect water bill payments.
City Manger Tim Rundel said the system is the same one used at an area grocery store and it takes nearly 2000 payments per month for a utility company. He explained how it would help the city collect those payments using an 800 number as well. Nichols Dollar Saver and Choctaw Travel Plaza both have the kiosks that will begin taking Durant water bills.
He said, “when I go in the grocery store, there’s always someone paying a bill at that kiosk. I think this will really benefit the city.”
The different city department heads gave the council reports on their departments.
Dewayne Williams, Airport Manager told the council, “we need more hangers, I’m at full capacity.”
Cindy Price, Durant City Clerk explained that construction will close gate 11 at Highland Cemetery indefinitely but gate 10 will be open to use instead. She said, “The same number of gates are open.”
Citizens speaking to the council only had one speaker. Durant business owner Jim Thorpe spoke to the council about he and other business owners water bill hike.
He explained that the city has collected over $3 million in the last year, and that took money out of citizens pockets. Thorpe said, “Water bills used to have the sewer costs less than water because of washing our cars or watering our lawns. You’ve taken and raised the sewer as well as raised the water.”
He spoke about a drainage issue that has been ongoing.
Thorpe said he wanted to bring some things to the council attention and thanked the council for their time and work for the city.
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or [email protected]