When I started the job of being your City Manager the first of October 2016 I was informed that we were losing 30% of our produced water. Upon investigation, I found some water was being lost by an aged leaking system and the balance by old and aged water meters dating back to 1941. Those meters do not perform correctly and their impellers are slow. Thus the readings are incorrect meaning water is passing through the meters that is not being realized by the City.
We are steadily replacing the old meters with new meters that are read by frequency. This system greatly reduces the overwhelming manual effort to read meters accurately. I wouldn’t call them smart meters but they are of great benefit to our team and community. This all should take about three months for completion.
Will you see an increase in your water bills? Yes, most likely. This is not a rate increase but an upgrade of the process in which we provide better services to the community.
At the end of the day it all comes back to our City of Hominy.
Hominy City Manager
The City of Hominy will be holding a meeting on Tues., June 27 at 5 p.m. in Hominy’s City Hall. The main topic to be discussed will be how our residential population will have the opportunity to save money on their electric bill and receive a refund check from OMPA (Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority).
College intern, Cameron Turley, is in our City office and is here to help us, thanks to the DEED scholarship program and the American Public Power Association. He will be presenting steps needed to schedule an OMPA audit for your home.
The main focus of the meeting will be to inform the public about low efficiency lighting, and low efficiency heating and air cooling systems can be replaced for a more efficient system or lights.
All residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about this program.
By Roseanne McKee,
Hominy Economic Development/Tourism Consultant
Many gardeners know what it’s like when a bumper crop of something comes in and one household just can’t use that much produce. I have a solution! Hominy will have a Gardener’s Market during June and July downtown on the gazebo area next to the First Bank in Hominy at 117 N. Price Ave.
At no cost, gardeners may bring their produce and set up a stand/tent from which to sell their produce. No long-term commitment is required, just call me and I’ll reserve a spot for you on any given week to sell your overabundance of whatever produce. Even if you don’t call ahead, just come on down, I’ll find a spot for you!
The good news is that according to the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture, there is no sales tax on a gardener’s produce!
However, the Dept. of Agriculture does have additional requirements if plants and crafts are sold, so we are going to limit the Gardener’s Market to produce and honey this year.
The Dept. of Agriculture and the Osage County Health Dept. do not allow cut produce or home jarred items. The Osage County Health Dept. food inspector, Brian Coatney, says that a recent Oklahoma law allows beekeepers to sell up to 50 gallons of their own honey without a license.
Commercial honey sales are also allowed, but sales tax is due from the seller to the state; I hope to sell commercially jarred Hannaford Honey from area beekeepers.
The Gardner’s Market will take place at 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. each Saturday in June and July except for July 22.
On Sat., July 22, the Hominy Community Center will hold a Classic Car and Native American Food Festival from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. with proceeds to benefit the Community Center (old high school), which needs a new roof.
For the classic car portion of the festival prizes will be awarded to the best cars in various categories. Those interested in participating in the car show, may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass this along to Chris Cox, who is coordinating this.
Regarding the Native American Foods part of the festival, participants will have an opportunity to sell their: meat pies, fry bread, meat gravy, hominy, grape dumplings, corn soup and specialty dishes. This will not be a competition, just an opportunity to let the larger community enjoy Native American foods.
For food and craft vendors, booth space will be available for rent. Booth space, set up along Main Street, will be offered at a rate of $10 for non-electric and $20 with electricity.
Booth spaces will be approximately 10 ft. by 10 ft. If larger space is needed, participants may rent more than one booth space.
Not all spaces will have electricity available and booth spaces will be rented on a first-come, first-serve basis, so I recommend that you reserve your spot early.
April Brown will be coordinating the booth space rental and Main Street layout grid. If you’d like to have a booth space, just e-mail me and I’ll pass this along to her.
Possibilities that are also in the works: the festival organizers hope to sell festival tee shirts, offer car and owner photos in front of the historic Marland Gas Station, have a pie auction, a raffle, a dunk tank and car “burn-out” contest.
Contact me about the Gardener’s Market or the Classic Car and Native American Food Festival via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 918-287-8784, where I prefer a text message to a voicemail. See you in Hominy!
As City Manager of Hominy, it has been apparent that the current financial status of our municipality has been challenged deeply due to decline tax revenues, additional commitments to Prue and Wynona outside our municipality, and a strained mutual support agreement with Cleveland Oklahoma. Our City Treasurer has reported in the short four months I have been at the helm as City Manager we have depleted other city entities finances on an average of $14,000 to $16,000 per month. I requested a one-time only assistance for a five-month period. This relief will allow for continued support of all our surrounding current commitments while our coffers begin to restore.
That restoration can carry those commitments further into 2017 while a newly assigned committee will analyze a financial solution for the county, overall, as determined by county leadership.
Actual transfers to HCMTA for shortfalls for Nov. 2016 were $16,200. This money comes from other Hominy city entities non-EMS. The county commissioners agreed to support the monthly request with the caveat that if our collection efforts prove successful the monthly amount be adjusted.
In short, we requested consideration from the County Commissioners in February 2017, a onetime appropriation of $65,000 (five months, $13,000 per month) with the confidence that the scope of this request is narrow and specific, and that there is a plan to continue past this crisis. They agreed with the above-mentioned caveat.
Some special thanks for EMS Director April Thompson and City Treasurer Larry Eulert for the detailed work they provided to the team to make this happen.
I also want to thank our County Commissioners: Darren McKinney, Jerry Howerton, Kevin Paslay, and their support liaison Kandy Jump for their help working through this.
Gary Lanham, City Manager
During November’s regular meeting of the Hominy City Council, the City’s governing body was presented with a proclamation to recognize one of Hominy’s former citizens. City Manager Gary Lanham read the proposed proclamation, which if approved, would name the Saturday preceding Pearl Harbor Day as “Kenneth M. Taylor Day.”
Kenneth M. Taylor grew up in Hominy after moving here with his family shortly after his birth. He spent his formative years here and eventually graduated from Hominy High School in 1938. After graduation, he enrolled in the University of Oklahoma and joined the Army Air Corps.
On December 7, 1941, a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Navy base in Hawaii, by the Imperial Japanese Navy sent the United States to the forefront of World War II. During the chaos of the attack, Taylor with the help of a fellow pilot, was able to get a fighter plane into the air where he shot down multiple Japanese planes.
Taylor sustained some injuries during his heroic efforts and went on to receive the Distinguished Service Cross and a Purple Heart, as well as several other awards over his 27 years of active duty, where he eventually retired as a Colonel in 1967. He went on to be an Assistant Adjutant General for the Alaska Air National Guard. In 1971, he retired from military life as a Brigadier General and Commander of the Alaska Air National Guard.
In 1970, Taylor was portrayed in the film Tora! Tora! Tora! for which he also served as a technical adviser.
Though Kenneth Taylor passed away in 2006, his bravery and service to his country will always be remembered, and our community is fortunate to have been able to call him one of our own. The City Council passed the proclamation, which was signed by Mayor Fairweather officially recognizing Taylor for his contribution to our country. The proclamation has been sent to the Governor’s office where it will be considered to recognize Mr. Taylor on a state level.
The film, Tora! Tora! Tora! will be shown in honor of Mr. Taylor at the Hominy Community Center on Saturday, December 3, 2016, “Kenneth M. Taylor Day.” The showing will begin at 5:30 PM and is free to the public.
Greetings from my desk where I have a glass of unsweetened tea to assist me with my ramblings. Well, as my first month ends I will share my thoughts and feelings about things as they are and as they should be.
As with any new start, I come with an outside perspective and can have ideas that need adjustment when details become apparent I could only know from the inside and not the outside. The ladies at the City Hall have been exceptional, sharing insights and information that has kept me from honest blunders. They have amazing patience. Some things, however, are not rocket science. With revenue
down and belts tightened many of the city’s issues seem more difficult and magnified.
One of the issues (among a long list) I am currently addressing are houses abandoned and in extreme disrepair. Our Code Enforcement officer has done a wonderful job identifying and tracking the legal processes that are required by law to resolve these locations. We meet almost weekly to review each location’s status and determine the next step. The several we have are in one phase of the process or another. We cannot simply tear down a property. Several attempts of notification and hearings are required, title searches, and legal steps must be made, by law, to protect the individual citizen’s rights, as well as the City as an entity.
Another important issue is the condition and future of the Senior Citizen’s Center. The aging condition of the current facility presents enormous challenges from an economic and physical safety perspective in the future. There are many viewpoints on what to do. There are many parties involved with governmental concerns that include standards, requirements, funding, and future planning. This will require a careful focus on all aspects. I am a member and have many good friends at the Center so this is particularly of importance to me.
The Lake is also on my list and I am happy to report that we had our annual inspection of the earthen dam and the results were great. Before I started as City Manager, Mr. Eulert had the brush and foliage removed by our city’s fantastic Public Works employees and the inspectors had only positive comments on its condition. There are improvements coming but I can discuss that later.
I am working with issues concerning our streets, water/sewage infrastructure, EMS, and fire department almost daily. I also have been taking time to sit with citizens who have concerns or questions about monthly bills they are unhappy with. Sometimes they are pleased with the discussions, sometimes not. I may not make everyone happy but I promise fairness and a cup of coffee.
I want to close this week’s quick snapshot with my personal feelings. There are some great folks in Hominy. I mean that. Good folks with good hearts that have endured trying times and difficult situations. Sometimes growing weary is unavoidable when things seem bleak. Things will get better, good times come and go, but our character is what determines how we react to them. Be strong and of good courage. If you cannot be, find those that are and hang out with them. It will rub off, I promise.
Hominy City Manager
Waste Connections of Bartlesville observes the Thanksgiving holiday, so if you are on the Thursday route, your trash will be picked up on FRIDAY and the Friday route will be picked up on SATURDAY.
Trash services will resume the normal pickup schedule the following week.
This is my first effort to collect my thoughts and let you, the folks of Hominy, see how things look from my perspective as City Manager. My purpose is to inform you of what is happening and give you a bit of insight to the decision factors that influence me. I hope you find it informative and maybe a bit fun.
I will start off by discussing two items this week. One is this very article. I received a load of requests to know what is going on. I have mentioned the posting in this newspaper and many times hear “Oh, I don’t read the paper.” Why not? This is the information I would subscribe to if I were you. As a matter of fact, I have been a subscriber for many years before taking the job with the city. I actually subscribe to four publications to keep up with county activities and differing perspectives on key topics that will appear, in all of them to get a better “rounded” perspective of things.
The City has a website. We are refreshing it. Here, you can click and add yourself, to what I call, ‘robo call’ emergency updates. Water and power outages, storm warnings that are local, will ring on your phone to let you know what is happening. You can also read about meeting announcements, current information, and contact information.
There is a City of Hominy Facebook presence. This will also share similar “late breaking” announcements. Finally, I plan to continue a quarterly “Meet the City Manager” gathering; similar to the one I hosted and advertised, for Oct. 8 at the Hominy Community Center. Twenty-two folks showed up and we covered many topics.
This leads me into the second item, one of the topics I discussed. While picking up speed as any “newbie” and dealing with the unscheduled and urgent issues of every day, my focus is on our infrastructure improvement, long term. This would be our water system and electric grid. Our City’s safety is also of great importance, and we have outstanding Fire, Police and EMS personnel who are dedicated to responding to emergencies in our community.
I will drill down into the details as we go along in future editions, but I will leave this as a general overview and introduction. In closing, I would like to say I am so impressed with the employees who serve this community. From the front desk of City Hall to the folks mowing, and working electric, water, sewage, senior center, and staff our library, all I have engaged with are truly dedicated to serve. We are blessed.
Hominy City Manager
Following an update by City employee Frank Hudson on work being completed at the A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery, he was presented with a plaque commending him for his tireless work throughout the community.
Mayor Cha Fairweather spoke candidly about Hudson's dedication to Hominy at the October City Council Meeting, and thanked him on behalf of the City, for his contributions over the years. Hudson, who is a former Hominy City Councilman, has worked for the City as a groundskeeper at the cemetery in recent years.
Thank you Frank for your dedication!