The Tahlequah City Council approved the contract renewal for Scott Media videography during its Aug. 5 meeting.

During a July 1 meeting, councilors expressed concern over the contract renewal and decided to take no action at that time. Jeremy Scott, owner of Scott Media, is contracted to deliver up to 10 videos a month at the cost of $200 per video.

Mayor Sue Catron argued during the July meeting that some videos produced by Scott had very little context and could be done with a cell phone. During Monday’s meeting, the council approved the contract, with Scott producing five videos a month at $200 per video. Ward 1 Councilor Bree Long voted against it, while Ward 2 Councilor Dower Combs, Ward 3 Councilor Stephen Highers, and Ward 4 Councilor Trae Ratliff voted in favor.

Tom Barnard also has a video contract with the city, which was reapproved unanimously during the July 1 meeting. Barnard is paid $400 per month to video the City Council meetings, which occur once or twice a month. Combs made the motion to OK Barnard's pay, with Long seconding.

Both Barnard's and Scott's videos can be seen at https://www.cityoftahlequah.com/318/City-Council using the Video tab on the left. Some are also now loaded onto https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAYfEi-DoBg_rMCievs_cxA and can be seen by clicking on the YouTube link at the top of the page.

Mark Seibold, planning director-architect at Crafton Tull, presented to the council a final draft of My Tahlequah 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Crafton Tull, which designed the plan throughout 2017, offered a framework developed from scenarios based on community input.

Seibold said the "road diet" has been removed for Downing Street. That plan, which was controversial among city residents and business owners, would have turned the East Downing four-lane into a three-lane, with the middle lane intended for turning. The lane change would have only extended from Water Street to Cedar Avenue and would have included a pedestrian greenbelt or bike trail. No action was taken on the draft or to adopt the plan.

The approval of permits and license related to medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial growers and processors was granted for three months. Concerns were voiced regarding a grow facility that is across Second Street from the Tahlequah Daily Press, and near Domino's Pizza, in a strip mall. The property is zoned commercial, but there is some concern that a grow facility, similar to a nursery, should be zoned for light industrial operations.

Approval for a special exception to allow for a reduction of the minimum requirements of the commercial landscape ordinance was tabled. The development is at 101 Mimosa Lane.

Rezoning the property on 208 N. Legion Drive and the amendment of the city of Tahlequah’s contract with Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation were approved.

The meeting agenda included well over 25 items to discuss and vote on. Councilors adjourned at 12:30 a.m., and Catron said the city has a large "budgetary deficit" to correct, and she wants to find a solution. She had asked City Administrator Ed Carr to come up with a plan, but the City Council took no action on those proposals Monday night.

“Expressions of frustration or concern related to the city finances are a natural byproduct of efforts to make changes. When the Council and city administration can agree upon a plan of action, we will start making strides toward stabilization,” said Catron.

The board approved the recommendation for Tom Farmer to begin construction of and building a private hanger at the Tahlequah Municipal Airport.

What’s next

The next Tahlequah City Council meeting is Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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