The Woodward News

August 5, 2013

New member to join city commission

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The Woodward City Commission should soon be once again 5-members strong.

The city board is slated to appoint a new commissioner during their next regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday in City Hall.

According information in the city agenda packet, the commissioners will be appointing John Meinders to the Ward 3 Commissioner seat.  Meinders will be replacing former commissioner Bill Fanning who resigned from the city board in June after his wife took a position as the director of the Woodward Senior Center.

When Meinders' appointment is approved, he will be sworn in before the commission will move on to its other business items.

These items include a request from the Bank of Western Oklahoma to rezone a property at 1322 8th St. from R-2 General Residential District to C-2 General Commercial District.

According to a copy of the request, the bank wants the property rezoned in order "to give some options to potential new owners" for either residential or commercial use of the property.

A public hearing on the proposed rezoning will be held prior to the commissioners' vote on the matter.

In other business, the commissioners will address a couple of auditing contracts.

The first is an agreement with Gano Coleman, CPA, for the purpose of participating with other Oklahoma cities for an audit that may result in the city receiving some unpaid sales taxes.

City Finance Officer Doug Haines said this sales tax audit is being performed as part of a program through the Oklahoma Tax Commission "which gives cities the right to participate in a join audit to go after those entities that are not properly remitting sales taxes."

"It's a way of sharing costs," Haines said, noting that the cost of the audit will be split amongst all the cities participating in the audit.

According to the contract with Gano Coleman, CPA, the costs of the audit will vary between $60 to $80 an hour depending on the number of taxing jurisdictions along with other "reasonable expenses."

This sales tax audit is independent from the city's regular annual audit.

However, the commissioners are scheduled to address a contract for the annual audit as well on Monday.  The board is slated to vote on a letter of engagement with RS Meacham CPAs & Advisors for auditing services.  This is the same firm that performed the city's last annual audit and has been recommended by Haines for reengagement for a second year.

In addition to these financial matters, the city agenda for Monday's meeting also includes:

• a vote on street overlay bids;

• an ordinance amending the city code relating to visual arts, which essentially changes the name of the city's Visual Arts Board to Visual Arts Commission and now outlines how a board member may be removed following a certain amount of absences; and

• an update on the city's ongoing comprehensive urban planning process from Gray Planning.

After updating the city commission Monday night, Gray Planning will hold a town hall meeting for the public on Tuesday evening.

The town hall meeting, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pioneer Room, will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the 20-year comprehensive plan which has been titled "Envision Woodward."  For more information about it, visit envisionwoodward.com or go to facebook.com/EnvisionWoodward.