City talks about holidays

by Todd Brooks

The Comanche City Council addressed the 4th of July and Christmas holidays at their meeting last Tuesday.

It appeared the city would not have an Independence Day fireworks celebration after the council decided to table the decision until next year.

The $8,500-plus cost for a 20-minute show seemed too steep for council members, who thought the money could be best spent elsewhere.

City manager Chuck Ralls pointed out that compared to other cities that hold fireworks displays in the surrounding area, Comanche was the only one where the city footed the bill for the fireworks. Other cities had organizations or others to pay for it.

However, when word got out Wednesday afternoon of the decision not to hold the event, community businesses and individuals stepped up to cover the cost of the celebration. The council members still must officially accept the donations and authorize the event, which is likely to happen at its May meeting.

In another holiday-themed agenda item, the Public Works Authority approved the purchase of a Christmas light display that will be set up at one of the parks. The large display, valued at $25,000, was purchased for $6,000. It includes many displays and moving components as well as a music broadcast over the radio synched to the display.

In other business, Ralls mentioned that he had received some unexpected news from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) that was not beneficial to the city.

The city manager said he was informed that the city must pay for water and sewer lines to be moved on the highway project from 5th Street to Highway 81.

However, Ralls pointed out to the ODOT officials certain regulations on the books that should exempt the city from having to pay.

In some good news, Ralls said the city received the Public Power Champion Award for 2020 from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA).

According to the OMPA website, “(t)he award is intended to recognize the effort the cities have shown in communicating the benefits of the local electric utility to the community, including the utility’s financial reinvestment in the community, grid reliability and local control.”

In other business, the council dispersed a $36,000 TSET grant. $6,000 will go to the parking lot of the Chisholm Trail Trading Post, $8,000 will go to Jackson Park for a possible walking trail, and the rest will be going to the new community garden in the vacant lot south of the Senior Nutrition Center.

The lot will be divided up with half going to the center for growing fresh vegetables for the center’s use and the other half will be opened up to the community for rent.

Comanche Times
United for Oklahoma - April