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Tuesday night Henryetta council members stood by a 2018 decision to abate a house following a plea by a new owner of the property to let him have time to fix it up.
That decision was reached following a length discussion on a house now owned by Edward G. Nelson, jr., located at 1207 West Gentry.1207 gentry
Nelson said he bought the house from Kanon Bailey as an investment and had a verbal agreement to sell it to a person living in California. Douglas told the council he loved to Oklahoma from Las Vegas to retire and bought the house. After only a few days on the market, he said he was approached by a person in California who wanted to buy it.
He came to the monthly council meeting asking for 30 days to start remodeling work.
“The house is structurally bad,” said Henryetta code enforcement officer Jody Agee. He told Nelson any work would have to start with structural drawings but, “if you want to tear it down, there is nothing stopping you.” He pointed out that once a house is condemned, the city will not issue permits.
The house has no utilities servicing it and several windows have been boarded up. Nelson said he nailed the front door shut because, “I don’t want homeless people to get in there.”
He went on to say he was told that, “Henryetta would give me time to fix it up.” When asked to told him that, he only said a person who took the tax money said it.
Councilman Vernon Van Meter made the motion to stand by the original abatement decree and that was approved unanimously. “You are pushing the problem off onto another person,” Douglas said. “We are not pushing it off. We are standing by our original decision. You are welcome to sell it.”
A proposal to put several horseshoe pits at Nichols Park was tabled following some discussion over location and a need for more information.
Bruce Jones proposed putting four horseshoe pits on a level piece of ground just west of the caretaker’s house. He said it would cost no more than $1,500 for materials and upkeep would be negligible.
Councilor Jennifer Munholland suggested locating them near the volleyball court in a lower area near the lake.
Mayor Michael Dickey said he would like to find a different place not in the front area of the park. Councilor Steve Sanford suggested closer to the ball fields.
“This is something to pursue. I would like to see a lot more planning to see what the cost would be.”
Henryetta parks were also discussed by Sanford who said he would like to see the parks board reinstated. “We need it. We need oversight.”
Pointing out the city ordinance establishing park board calls for seven members, Sanford said he has met with several people who are active in business, schools and civic organization. He also pointed out a hotel/motel owner should be on the board.
Munholland said the board was dismantled following an attorney’s opinion stating the city had a liability issue. She asked why people could not come to the council with ideas for the parks.
“The parks board can act as a buffer. We can all work together as a team,” Sanford replied.
Dickey asked to see the opinion from the attorney at that time, Ken Williams from Hall-Estell.
The matter was tabled until that opinion could be read.
An idea to put an eight-foot tall, 300-foot-long fence along the railroad by the Caboose Park was also tabled. Sanford said he has reached out to representatives from Burlington Northern to see if they could help with the estimated $14,799 expense. “Their engineering department wants an onsite visit to look at the cost.”
A series of appointments started with Janna Dugan Cluck being named to the Henryetta Economic Development Authority (HEDA). That approval was given with a 3-2 vote. Sanford and Van Meter cast the dissenting votes.
Other appointments included:
Mayor Michael Dickey to the Eastern Oklahoma Development Authority and hospital authority;
Scott Lawrence to fill Van Meter’s unexpired term on the board of adjustments;
Shane Smith to the board of adjustments,
Keith Green, David Bullard and Todd Groff to the planning and zoning board;
Jill Francis to the Henryetta Economic Development Authority;
Aaron Graffman and Kayla Horn to the Henryetta housing authority.
The corner lot at 419 West Trudgeon will be resurfaced following awarding of a $24,750 bid to Posey Construction. That will cover resurfacing the lots and removing some existing concrete to make it a level area for parking and other activities. The cost will be reimbursed by HEDA.
Council members approved a letter of engagement with Crawford and Associates for accounting work.
Also gaining approval was annexation of three tracts of land just west of Dewey Bartlett west of town. “It makes it a potential for future building and the owner, Ratilal Patel, wants to have it rezoned commercial,” said city manager Ron Casey after the meeting.
The council broke for over 15 minutes for an executive session to discuss the contract with the Henryetta International Association of Fire Fighters (Local #2788). That contract was approved