City commission receives update on COVID-19 while extending mayor’s disaster declaration


The Pampa City Commissioners met on Monday evening for a regularly-scheduled meeting.

During the meeting, the commission approved an extension of mayor Brad Pingel’s disaster declaration while receiving an update from city manager Shane Stokes on Pampa’s COVID-19 situation.

Just as the county court had done earlier in the day (when the county commissioners approved the extension for 30 days), this declaration opens the door for them to re-evaluate the situation at their April 13 meeting.

Stokes said there were three directives he administered. The first was on March 13 to let the city employees know the COVID-19 situation is coming and if an employee is sick, they should stay home. They were also directed to limit non-essential travel and clean surfaces.

On March 17, a second directive was given discouraging non-essential travel and required 14 days of self-quarantine if an employee traveled in a high-risk hot-spot area for the virus (the City considered counties with COVID-19 cases to be high-risk). Events at city facilities were also limited to 50 people or less.

On March 20, the third directive restricted travel by all City employees and if they did travel they were to notify their department head on activities and then self-quarantine for 14 days.

Stokes emphasized that no employee had been quarantined because they had contracted the COVID-19 virus, it was all because of travel and where they had traveled. Stokes added the City had centralized all of the essential cleaning supplies (toilet paper, disinfectant, etc.) to one location.

“We have indicated to department heads to continue ordering that equipment as needed,” Stokes said. “We’ve got a stock-pile for the City should the supply line get cut-off. We will continue to operate and have enough material to do that.”

As of Monday afternoon, 17 employees were self-quarantined. None of those are because of the virus, but just as a precaution because they had been to areas with the COVID-19 virus.

The commissioners approved the item extending the declaration to be evaluated at the April 13 meeting.

The next item approved was an inter-local agreement with Park, Hill, Smith & Cooper, Inc.

This action brings the City of Pampa into a professional service agreement for cheaper materials and engineering fees on the seal-coat project.

Director of public works Gary Turley said the bids will be opened at the end of April and depending on the price of the bids, the City may be able to do more streets under the project.

“They’ll start the work in June and will continue the work through August,” Turley said. “But we should be one of the first ones (from the group of 21 cities) they do. They say they will start north and work south. The material they will use is pre-coated material and will look more like an asphalt road than what we’ve used in the past.”

Stokes clarified the company won’t be working in Pampa from June to August, just that Pampa will be one of the first cities and should only take a couple weeks.

Turley further clarified joining Park, Hill, Smith & Cooper will get the City a better price on the project than if they had done the project on their own.

“The larger the area they use the cheaper the product will be,” Turley said. “They had said it would be $3.15/square-yard and now it could be as low as $2.85/square-yard.”

The commissioners approved this item unanimously.

The last discussion item on the agenda was a commercial contract between Las Pampas Square (owned by Pampa Economic Development Corporation) and Vipul Mody.

Pampa EDC Board president Glennette Goode spoke on the topic and said they are optimistic the deal will be done soon.

“We have received earnest money and have been in touch with them (Vipul Mody) as early as [Monday] afternoon,” Goode said. “It goes without saying a lot of businesses there are closed down but Hoagies has opted to use this time to update and remodel. We had to get approval from the Mody’s and they approved it no problem. Everything is still a go to our knowledge.”

Pingel asked if there was a plan to keep all of the current tenants to which Goode affirmed there was. Pingel also asked what the projected close date was and Goode couldn’t get a firm closing date but said there has been a lot of correspondence and everyone is optimistic.

Goode added in the event this contract falls through, the Pampa EDC board will have an individual in charge to manage the buildings until there is a buyer.

The city commission had two house-keeping items where they approved the minutes from the March 9 meeting and approved the list of disbursements dated February 2020 (commissioner Jimmy Keough abstained from the motion per conflict of interest).

The next regularly-scheduled city commission meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 13.

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