Luther resident Chelsea House took her oath of office Tuesday evening to join the Luther Town Board of Trustees. She is filling out the unexpired term of Paxton Cavin who resigned in June, and was appointed by the remaining trustees.
After swearing in, House took her spot on the board table and proceeded through a long agenda, including an hour long professional development training for all town employees and board members on anti-harassment and professional decorum. The training was put on by the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group.
The August meeting lasted more than two and a half hours also featured the announcement of not one, but two, grant awards for the Town.
POLICE BODY CAMS
OMAG awarded the Luther Police Department a check for $7,280 to provide body cameras.
“We recognize that the Luther Police Department has adopted Best Practices through the development of quality policies and a new Body Worn Video Program. Chief Walker recognizes these efforts can and will reduce the Town’s liability exposure,” said Kevin McCullough, law enforcement specialist, OMAG.
McCullough said the body cameras can aid law enforcement in officer safety, enhancing situational awareness and providing evidence. Other benefits, he said, are the reduction of citizen complaints, lowers resistance, lowers the use of force incidents and enriches public safety.
He said OMAG has awarded more than $400,000 this year statewide in funding for the body worn video technology.
CDBG GRANT AWARD
Town Manager Scherrie Pidcock also announced that Luther was awarded an $89,000 grant to replace a key water line in the town that has aging water infrastructure. She said the line is from First street to south of Fifth Street, and work could begin in October. The town will match the Community Block Development Grant with $50,000 to complete the work. Pidcock thanked former Trustee Jason Roach for helping to get the grant underway, and Niki Taylor and former employee Macie Stafford for their help in collecting data from town residents for the grant application.
Trustees also agreed to pay $1,500 as part of a $3,500 cost for the selection of the Town by the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities for design and design at Wildhorse Park. Most members of the Luther Parks Commission were at the meeting and Chair Kasey Wood said that Luther’s selection to the prestigious program is beneficial to the whole town. “We know money doesn’t grow on trees; we feel like this $1500 helps us get the ball rolling,” she told the board and said that the parks’ volunteer group is planning to fundraise for the eventual park improvements.
With all the positive grant news, the trustees also had to approve spending money to make a necessary repair on a sewer lift station pump, and a part on the water tower.