The City of Sapulpa has approximately $1.6 million in CARES Act reimbursement funds to allocate for various purposes. Although it was on Monday night’s City Council meeting’s agenda, the only decision made then was to give almost $190K to the police department for new body cameras and tasers. They voted to take the rest of the suggestions back to the Administration and Finance Committee for further study and perusal.
At Thursday evening’s Ad/Fi meeting, Committee Chair Lou Martin, Mayor Craig Henderson, and Councilors Vickie Beyer and Hugo Naifeh, along with key city staff, discussed several other suggestions from city department heads for how the money can be spent or saved and ultimately made sound fiscal decisions for the city. There was an emphasis on being careful with the funds and not making hasty decisions.
The Committee opted to recommend to City Council the dispersal of $683,500 for various projects, including fleet maintenance software for all city vehicles ($8,000), computer upgrades ($20,000), electronic timesheets for city employees ($15,000), new robotic mowers for the soccer and baseball fields ($8,500), and a salt and sand building ($75,000).
Notably, it also agreed to move forward with electronic and acoustic upgrades to the Council Chamber at City Hall, which will drastically improve the public’s ability to see and hear important details at meetings.
The approval of some of these items means a decrease in future years’ expenditures. For example, the robotic mowers will relieve the time an employee has to spend mowing those fields, the electronic time sheets will cut down on employee error and overtime, and replacing the water meters all at once will eliminate the ongoing yearly cost of replacing a few at a time.
Tabled, but to be reconsidered at a later date, are city hall restroom updates, hand sanitizer stations at city playgrounds, Liberty Park security upgrades, neighborhood electronic speed limit signs, Bolo wraps for the police department, new light wraps and branding for the police fleet of vehicles, property for a new fire station, and a myriad of other items for the water treatment plant, animal control center, and parks department.
There will also be a substantial amount allocated to an emergency fund. The Committee requested more guidance from City Attorney David Widdoes on what constitutes an emergency and when these funds could be accessed.
Later in the meeting, Human Resources Director Becky McGinnis introduced a new Public Facility Code of Conduct policy for the committee’s approval. The policy defines unacceptable modes of behavior on city property, such as harassing, bullying, vandalism, fights, theft, unsafe or unsanitary actions, profanity, illegal use of drugs or alcohol, and discriminatory comments, including racial and ethnic slurs.
The committee voted unanimously to approve new policy and to recommend it to the full Council.
This story was first published in our Print Edition on November 8th, 2020. Download the full Digital Edition here.