The Tahlequah City Council voted to close out a grant fund and return the cash match to the general fund.

Interim City Administrator Alan Chapman said this was part of a "housekeeping" measure in the accounting department.

"I ask that we start the process to restore confidence in our accounting department by taking care of these issues," said Chapman.

The board gave the nod to Chapman's request to close a grant fund and return cash match of $2,159 to the Bond Improvement Fund.

The city of Tahlequah accepted the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Community Development Block Grant Award of $126,747. It was approved from an original grant match of $144,750 during a March 2015 council meeting, and when the contract was awarded to Zenith Construction with a change order, it required an additional $67,171 in match funding.

Another change order during an August 2016 council meeting was approved, and it required an additional $7,258 match funding. At that same meeting, a budget amendment of $76,508 was approved and required more match funding.

The total matching fund was $295,512, all of which came from the Bond Improvement Fund. That reduced the Greenbelt Development account by $286,210, the Crafton Cedar to Grant account by $7,258, and Phoenix Park Renovation by $2,043.

The total funding was $422,259 total expenses equated $420,100, leaving $2,159 that needed to be returned to the Bond Improvement Fund.

Street Commissioner Wayne Ryals' request for the selection of a bridge inspection contractor to comply with National Bridge Inspection Standards was approved. Ryals explained that this would funded by the federal government and the city would not have out-of-pocket expenses.

"The federal government pays for it, and if we do not select the engineering firm that we want, then ODOT will do it for us," said Ryals.

Approval of a spring 2020 event, Tahlequah Tiger Street Race, was granted. John Woolley of Bulldog Bite Street Race was there to answer questions and concerns from councilors. He said the idea is to bring in an immense amount of tax dollars for the community.

"I do a lot of stuff to try to help out communities raise money for the good of our communities, and my main goal of putting on these sanction street races is to teach our youth that it's OK to want to have fun, and it's OK to have fast cars, but you have to do it in the proper way," said Woolley.

Concerns quickly were raised as to how safe the event could be for all involved. Police Chief Nate King said he was a little skeptical when he was first approached with the idea.

"But Woolley said they were doing it in Wagoner, and I happen to know the Wagoner police chief pretty well and I called him," said King. "He had nothing but praise."

King said his opinion was quickly changed, and he supports the event.

Woolley said the general public is kept at a safe distance from race participants.

"Everybody that is a racer/crew member has to sign a legal document that is notarized -- they have to show their ID and everything -- and handled right there, or they don't come in," he said.

Ward 2 Councilor Dower Combs motioned while Ward 1 Councilor Bree Long seconded.

The board approved to accept a grant for $2,475 to purchase a footgolf set from American Foot Golf League to be installed at Tahlequah city golf course, and to rebrand the golf course as "Riverlinks."

Ward 4 Councilor Trae Ratliff said this is an effort to bring some life back into the golf course.

"What you may or may not know is that there are three golf courses in the city of Tahlequah, so we need try to find a way to differentiate ourselves, I feel like, and in the state of Oklahoma, there are five foot golf courses that are listed," said Ratliff.

What's next

The next Tahlequah City Council meeting is Nov. 18 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Recommended for you