A power outage did not keep the Woodward City Commission from holding its regular meeting Monday night.

David Kincannon, of Accurate Environmental Services, was preparing to present the commission with his monthly status report for the city’s waste water treatment plant when the lights went off.

The city commissioners simply decided to move the meeting from the windowless City Commission Room to the new City Hall conference room and continued on.

Once the commissioners and audience members were settled, Kincannon began his presentation by assuring everyone that “the waste water plant has a generator that it tests every Wednesday just in case of a power outage.”

He then informed the commission that he continues to see “a lot of good improvements at the plant,” including a reduction in solid concentration levels.

In other business, the commissioners approved using $100,000 in escrow credit to help reduce renewal fees for the municipal workers compensation plan.

“It’s a normal process to help offset premiums,” City Treasurer Doug Haines said.

Also before the city commission was a claim against the city for personal damages in the amount of $1 million. The claim was made by Hal Frederick Thomas who alleged that his wife ultimately died as the result of an accident at Fuller Park.

Thomas’ claim alleged that his wife “was injured when she fell from a defective step at Fuller Park” after a baseball game on July 27, 2007 and that “the injuries she sustained resulted in her ultimate death.” The claim was filed with the city in June of this year.

But as the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group, which represents the city, found no liability on behalf of the city, the commissioners voted to deny the claim.

During his report, Mayor Bill Fanning addressed another type of insurance claim that the city often faces and also often denies: sewer backup damage claims.

Fanning noted that after attending a mayor’s retreat last week he may have “a possible solution” to those sewer backup claims. He said he would share more about the idea in September after reviewing it with a little committee he has formed between himself, Roscoe Hill and Kevin McAdoo.

City Manger Alan Riffel also made an important announcement during his report to the commission. He announced his staff selections for Woodward’s new Tourism and Convention Bureau and introduced Jim Curtiss, who will be the bureau director, and Michelle Hale, who will be in charge of public relations among other duties.

Riffel also noted that the Tourism and Convention Bureau office, which will be housed in the ARDA building, is close to being completed and ready for full operations, which will begin in early September.

“Now the deal is to build things for them (Curtiss and Hale) to fill,” Riffel said.

Both Curtiss and Hale seem eager to get started.

“I look forward to the opportunity to help Woodward move forward,” Hale said.

Curtiss noted that he already has a list of ideas, which he said will basically allow the new Tourism and Convention Bureau to “utilize what you guys have enjoyed for a number of years and sell that concept to others.”

After welcoming the new Tourism and Convention Bureau staff, the city commissioners moved into their Woodward Municipal Authority meeting, where the only major item before them was approving a lease-purchase agreement with National City Commercial Capital Company to provide new golf carts at the Boiling Springs Golf Course.

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