The Tahlequah Public Works Authority Board of Trustees, during a Nov. 20 meeting, gave the general manager discretion over suspending fees for 30 days.

TPWA General Manger Mike Doublehead said he wanted to be ready in case local businesses are financially affected by COVID-19.

"We have continued to work with customers who may have a difficult time keeping their bills current, but it is something we need to be aware of [because] the possibility does exist if COVID continues to spread," Doublehead said.

Trustee Mark Gish asked Doublehead if he wanted the discretion to suspend fees as he sees fit without having to wait for the next board meeting.

"Because if something does happen and we don't meet again for another 30 days, the staff [needs to be able] to make that decision, and of course, action can be ratified at the board meeting," Doublehead said.

The suspension of disconnect and reconnect fees isn't a waiver, however - just a delay.

The board gave its nod to an invoice from HUB Engineers for services for the Westside Wastewater Lift Station replacement/Southside Lift Station totaling $6,100.

"We're complete with the design and we have a subsequent item on the agenda to ask for permission to advertise for construction bids," said TPWA engineer Steve Tolar.

Trustees approved an invoice for engineering service for wastewater treatment plant improvement totaling $4,425. Tolar said the reimbursement was for construction phase engineering services and on-site inspection.

A disbursement request for $237,175 for wastewater treatment plans construction and engineering was approved.

During the general manager's report, Doublehead said they have received a bid for new LED lights.

"Looks like we're going to be able to put approximately 300 new lights up within our community," Doublehead said. "Our portion of that is the labor portion, and the grant will purchase the street lights. We should be receiving some street lights over the next 30-45 days and we'll begin construction on that project."

What's next

The next TPWA board meeting is on Dec. 18 at 9:05 a.m. in the Board Room at the Utilities Office, 710 W. Choctaw St.

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