(Cushing, Okla.)  Cushing commissioners approved to execute a collection agreement with American Municipal Services (AMS) and the addition of a collection fee of 25 percent on items forwarded for collection.  The Board of Commissioners held a study session recently to discuss the need for a collection agency after writing off nearly $250,000 in unpaid utilities, EMS and miscellaneous fees.

“Does this mean we can go back and collect on those?” Commissioner Carey Seigle asked. 

City Manager Steve Spears said it would be possible to go back as far as four years if that’s what the commission approved – which they did.  Commissioners voted unanimously to hire AMS to collect on any or all of those debts.

Another agenda item approved by commissioners was the purchase of two new vehicles for the Cushing Police Department.  The 2011 Chevy Impalas will be outfitted with radar, cameras and cages.  The cost of the vehicles – $41,484 for the cars and $28,241.06 for the conversion packages – is included in the 2011 budget. 

Other General Business items approved were:  Resolution No. 45-2010 – authorizing an election for Seat No. 5 – the position currently held by Jim Hogrefe.  The election will be held in early spring (March/April), but must be filed with the election board by the end of December.

Resolution No. 46-2010: – authorizing the renewal of the airport agreement for management services at Cushing Regional Airport with Jim Clements.  This is an annual agreement.  Clements took a moment to thank the Commission and the City of Cushing for all the support given over the years.  “After 14 years of service, I want to thank the Commission, the City and everyone who has helped me have the airport we have today.  It is truly a great facility,” Clements said.

Resolution No. 47-2010: – authorizing the execution of an agreement with the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group (OMAG) for the 2007 – 2008 Workers’ Compensation Plan refund in the sum of $50,608.28.  “This (refund) is a direct indication of how safe our employees work,” Spears said.  The refund will be put into the General Fund.

Commissioners also agreed to reduce the bond on two wells (Stufflebeam 1 & 2) from $50,000 to $25,000 since the “risk has been reduced” since the drilling has been completed.  The bond of $25,000 will remain as long as the well is active and producing.  And while no problems are expected to arise from either of the wells, Spears assured commissioners operators “on both sides” check it daily.

Three of the five commissioners approved to grant a conditional permit for the purpose of placing a mobile home on property located at 401 North Violet.  Commissioners Joe Manning and Carey Seigle cast the two nay votes.

In Cushing Municipal Authority business, trustees tabled Resolution No. 23-2010 a resolution to execute a professional engineering contract with Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) to study and develop a solution for the chlorine off gassing issue at the water treatment plant.  Commissioners Jim Hogrefe and Joe Manning were especially vocal in their belief that the problem may be a design flaw created by PEC and that it the assessment of the situation should come at no cost – at least initially.  Hogrefe recommended the study should come from an outside company as opposed to the one who may have created the problem.

Cushing Board of Commissioners meet the third Monday of each month.  All meetings are open to the public.