The Cushing Board of Commissioners met Monday evening where they approved several agenda items, including the purchase of five new vehicles for Cushing police.  The total budgeted amount of nearly $120,000 includes the purchase and equipping of each of the new vehicles.  Mayor Henckel quizzed Police Chief Terry Brannon as to whether or not video equipment was included.

“No – it isn’t included, but we are not opposed to video equipment,” Brannon said.  “I believe it is a big truth teller.  Manager Spears and I have had the discussion but like a lot of things, it comes down to cost.”

Brannon estimated the cost could be in the range of $4500 – $6000 – a hefty price tag in a downturned economy – but that the merits of such equipment could outweigh the expense.  At the urging of the commissioners, Spears agreed, with the help of Brannon, to look into video equipment and get back to the commission. 

The purchase of new uniforms and hoses for the Cushing Fire Department was also approved, along with the purchase of a new vehicle for the Parks Department – a 2009 half-ton Chevrolet pickup.  Also approved – an ordinance amending an existing ordinance in the regard to youth access to tobacco.

“This is bringing us up-to-date with state ordinances,” said  City Attorney Stuart Arthurs.

While the ordinance already prohibited the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18, the new ordinance adds teeth to it by increasing the fine from $25 to $100 for the first offense.  Those fined would be anyone selling tobacco products to a minor, as well as the minor making the purchase.  It would also include anyone purchasing tobacco products for a minor.  Fines will increase in increments of $100 for each repeated offense – first offense, $100; second offense, $200 and third offense, $300. 

Also noted: Cushing Public Schools Board members recently voted to make school property a tobacco free zone, 24/7 – which includes football games and other sporting events.  

One agenda item that ended up being tabled was resolution no. 47-2009; a resolution to approve the meeting room policy, the rules of conduct and the materials selection policy for the Cushing Public Library.  Several commissioners stated they have received numerous complaints regarding library staff and it was their desire to call a special meeting to discuss the complaints and to further review the proposed policies with librarian LaDawn Conner, Cushing Public Library board members and concerned citizens.

Other agenda items included a report by Steve Spears.  Spears said the clean up program is set to end at the end of this week.  He reminded citizens that by adhering to the rules, it makes it easier to continue such programs.  “When the dumpsters are full, please don’t leave items on the ground,” Spears said.  “Come back once they’ve been emptied.”
He also reported that the municipal pool will remain open on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day, but is closed throughout the week.
Spears lauded Code Enforcement for their hard work toward cleaning up Cushing saying, “The department has been working hard – they are issuing approximately 50 notices a week.”

Another topic touched on by Spears – the Hudson Refinery site.  “Land O’Lakes has taken that over and now they are having some additional testing to find the specific areas that still need clean up,” he said.  “The EPA will hold a public hearing – probably during the week of Sept. 21st.”

Cushing Municipal Authority officials approved the removal and trimming of trees, trees and more trees.  Asplundh Tree and Payne County Tree Service will work hand in hand to remove and trim trees that potentially interfere with area electrical lines.

Kicking off Monday’s meeting was a proclamation honoring American Legion Post 108 for being named the 2009 -2010 Post of the Year.

“We’re very proud of the American Legion Post 108,” said Mayor Henckel.  “They’ve been very busy and worked extremely hard.”

The Cushing Board of Commissioners meets the third Monday of each month, in City Hall.