MOORE — Members of the city council met this week in executive session to discuss City Manager Brooks Mitchell’s contract, which was approved.
During the March 6 meeting, the council named Mitchell city manager, pending approval of his contract. Mitchell will continue to receive the $125,000 a year that was his salary as interim city manager.
After the council meeting on Monday, Mitchell told The Oklahoman the council agreed to give him a car allowance of $500 a month.
Mitchell has worked for the city since September 2015, when he was hired as finance director. He became interim city manager when Steve Eddy retired in December.
Mitchell lives in northwest Oklahoma City, but he said he and his wife are looking for a home in Moore.
Council members Jason Blair, Terry Cavnar and Mark Hamm were unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Mitchell said they had expressed their opinions on his status and that was being discussed in the executive session. He said there were enough votes for a quorum.
Attending the meeting were Mayor Glenn Lewis and council members Adam Webb, Danielle McKenzie and Melissa Hunt.
In other action, the council voted to enter into an agreement with Neighborhood Housing Services of Oklahoma for administration of the city’s Down Payment Assistance Program. Jared Jakubowski, city grant manager, said Moore is putting $1 million into the project for houses in Moore. The money is from the federal Housing and Urban Development Department’s disaster relief funds.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Oklahoma helps some homebuyers with lower household incomes qualify for financial help for down payments assistance and/or closing costs.
The council also approved an agreement with BNSF Railway to have a third-party review plans for the proposed roadway underpass at SE 4 Street and the BNSF tracks. Jakubowski said the underpass plans would not be 100 percent completed until possibly December 2018. The city and the railway will review the third party’s reports.
When the council meets on April 3, a representative of Creative Design Resolutions Inc. will be present to discuss design options for the proposed bridge over Interstate 35 at SW 34 St. Speaking with The Oklahoman after the March 6 meeting, Mitchell said the CDR representative will be Steven Weitzman, who is not yet under contract with Moore. Mitchell said CDR has done bridge design work for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The council tabled a plan to enter into an agreement with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service for $40,000 in training services in trade for a 15-year-old American LaFrance fire truck that has a 75-foot ladder. Before the meeting, Fire Chief Gary Bird said the truck is housed at Fire Station No. 1. The department’s newer 100-foot ladder truck is at Fire Station No. 4.
The agenda item was tabled because the older truck needs to be declared surplus. Bird said Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service offers a wide range of training for fire departments.