Henryetta council members are still waiting for a plan detailing construction and eventual use for the caretaker’s house at Nichols Park.
That discussion occupied much of the meeting Monday night between the council and Steve Sanford. Sanford has been spearheading an effort to clean upland restore the building since last fall.
He had planned to hold some fundraising efforts to finance the project but was told that, since the building is owned by the city, he could not do that but, instead, any donors would have to bring their donations to city hall individually.
“We want to see the plans and see the total cost,” said mayor Jennifer Munholland.
He replied one estimate was for $85,000 to bring the house back to completion. “The stone structure is sound. That rock is as square as the day they were set,” he said.
Sanford told council members he had several contractors who have told him they would donate time and labor but the cost of the materials would have to be paid by the donations and city. Recent price increases in material cost were brought up with Sanford saying an original estimate to replace the roof was $5,000 and is now $7,500. He said if the roof could be repaired and the building secured, workers could spend time inside restoring the structure.
Sanford said some of the cost of the project could be paid through establishing full-service camping facilities at the park. He estimated 30 camping spots paying $30 per day would generate some $200,000 over an eight-month period if all were occupied.
“The problem is the infrastructure,’ Munholland said. She said it would cost over $1 million to run sewer lines. “The city makes about $200,000 each month in tax revenue. That’s about one block of asphalt,. I don’t think this is financially feasible.”
She went on to say the city has issues with infrastructure around town. “We have a leak and don’t know where it is at. When you are having over 500 gallons (of water) per minute disappearing, the park is not at the top of the list now.”
Regarding the hotel-motel tax account, she pointed out the city, “can’t spend a little bit here and there. Everything we look at is $100,000. We would love nothing more than to develop it. You don’t have the funds and the city doesn’t have the money.”
In other business during the evening, the council approved a request by local veterinarian Dr. Carlton Collett to use the rodeo arena for a customer appreciation event July 17.
Also approved was a request by the Muskogee (Creek) Nation to rebuild a half-mile of East Corporation from the Lake Road. That street leads to the Reintegration Program facility.
A tort clam against he city from ONEOK was denied based on a recommendation from the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) legal staff. That claim was based on a loss in May of this year. Since the city denied the claim, ONEOK has 180 days to file a lawsuit. No information was provided about the claim background.
Council approved Arledge and Associates to audit the city financial statements for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Earlier in the evening, the council held a short public hearing on the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. No breakdown on budget figures were given. The council voted to adopt the budget.