City receives good report from auditor

by Todd Brooks

The City of Comanche received a good report from its audit for the 2020-21 fiscal year at its March meeting last Tuesday.

Overall, the auditor was pleased with the findings and the cooperation of city staff. There were four minor issues addressed with the main one being a shortage of funds in the meter deposit fund to cover all meters in the city. Money received for meter deposits is put in the fund so when a resident leaves, the deposit can be returned to the resident.

The audit found there were not enough funds to cover all the meters in town. City manager Chuck Ralls said the city was already working on the problem and believed the problem to be a computer software issue.

In another agenda item, fire chief Scooter Bivins announced that the department had received a $9,500 grant from the Wichita Falls Community Foundation toward the purchase of new wild land and rescue gear. He informed the council that he would like to an additional $2,870 in order to get 10 total sets.

Bivins said he was willing to use fire department funds to make the purchase, but the council decided to take half of the cost from the general fund so that the department would not have to pay for all of it.

There are 24 full-time and volunteer firefighters. Bivins said the four full-time firefighters would receive the new gear and the volunteers who went out on the most calls would get the rest.

Bivins said the goal was to eventually replace all the gear for all firefighters.

In other business, the council approved budget meetings for March 23 and April 6 in order to get prepared for the new fiscal year.

Ralls gave an update on the Chisholm Trail Trading Post. He said he was happy about how well things went and that approximately 700 people attended the first day.

He said parking is the main issue that needs to be addressed as the parking lot was mostly full even though there were still many outdoor vendor slots available, which could cause problems once more vendors and people come to the flea market.

On an update about the electric situation from the February winter storm, Ralls said the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) was working on deferring the fuel cost over five years instead of just one. He said the unit cost had skyrocketed from $3 to over $1,000 in a matter of hours.

He did say that the city was on the list to have to shutdown power, but he never got the call to throw the switch.
In another matter on the Municipal Power Authority (MPA) agenda, the trustees tabled the purchase of fireworks for a July 4th celebration. The cost for a normal show would be $8,200, but the trustees wanted to wait and see what happens over the next month before deciding whether to make the purchase.



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