Pampa city commission holds special digital meeting Monday

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The Pampa city commission met on Monday afternoon for a special meeting over video conference. The video was available for view on YouTube.

The first item was to extend the Declaration of a Local Disaster Mayoral Order No. 1.

City manager Shane Stokes said the order, which was signed on April 1, was signed after there were two cases confirmed in Pampa. At the time of this meeting there were nine.

“This resolution affirms the order and extends it,” Stokes said. “The extension will go through midnight of April 27 (the date of our next meeting). That’s 20 more days. That’s all this is about, there is nothing different in here other than extending it through the April 27.”

This order does extend the stay-at-home order through midnight of April 27. The original order could only be effective for up to seven days without affirmation and/or extension by the City Commission.

The commissioners approved this resolution unanimously.

The city commission also adopted a resolution for real property donation and procedures for the City.

Stokes said this item puts into place a policy for how the City accepts donated property.

“The policy starts out that the City of Pampa only wants to accept donations of property that represents an extraordinary value to the City,” Stokes said. “There are requirements for the donation such as it has to be within the city limits of Pampa, has to be without any additional payment to the City, it has to be done through general warranty/special warranty deeds, quick claim deeds are not accepted, it has to be free from mortgages, leases and liens and taxes must be paid in full.”

Stokes added a couple of other conditions that must be met and it’s a good document to protect the City and determine if the property is safe and a benefit to the City.

Mayor Brad Pingel and commissioner Jimmy Keough concurred and the commission approved the item unanimously.

The next topic discussed was the amendment of ordinances in regards to security deposits and residency verification for water services.

Stokes said part of the policy is just business-as-usual and brings the rates current with other municipalities in the area.

“The deposit for a water bill has been $50 since 1984,” Stokes said. “Fifty dollars doesn’t even cover the cost of a minimum bill for one month. The increase in the deposit is just that, catching up. Business as usual.”

The next part of the amendment is to protect the City from non-payment of bills.

“It prevents someone from not paying a large bill then having the water turned back on,” Stokes said. “Currently the ordinance allows for someone to be turned off for non-payment then simply turned back on in someone else’s name in the same house with the same residences. They just abandon that bill and we are just forced to eat the cost/eat the loss.”

This adds the residency verification process where residence have to show proof of residence with their driver’s license, another utility bill or a letter from the landlord.

Stokes added they are not turning any resident off from water due to non-payment and don’t have the intention. He added they intend to work with residents once the situation is over but said they do have the City’s best interest in mind.

“The gas company is not going to give you free gas, the electric company is not going to give you free electricity,” Stokes said. “In these times, I think all of us are looking to work with customers, arrange payment plans and get things paid off that way.”

The commission approved this item unanimously.

The commissioners approved the following items, as well:

• Approving the minutes of the March 23, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.

Consent agenda:

• Awarding a bid to Christopher Lucas in the amount of $329 for delinquent tax property located at Lot 16, Block 2, Wynnelea Addition, commonly known as 716 N. Wells. 

• Awarding a bid to Martin Hillman in the amount of $5,001 for delinquent tax property located at Lot 17, Block 14, Jarvis Sone Addition, commonly known as 2206 N. Nelson. 

• Awarding a bid to M & H Leasing Company, Inc. in the amount of $500 for  delinquent tax property located at Lot 18, Block 6, Finley Banks Addition, commonly known as 926 S. Faulkner. 

• Awarding a bid to Joselyn Colin in the amount of $325 for delinquent tax property located at Lot 13, Block 1, Harlem Addition, commonly known as 522 Crawford.

The next city commission meeting will be on April 27.

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