With so many things going on in our town, here’s a roundup of some things The Luther Register is following:
- LION REPORTER! First of all, we are so excited to welcome Sydney Scheer as our first LION REPORTER! We will
gush about her more later, but this 2016 LHS graduate will cover LION Football this season, and as many other sports as her busy schedule will allow. We know she knows the game after serving as team manager for three years. She also is beginning her college career this week and working. Welcome Sydney! Speaking of which, we are looking for a SPONSOR for our Sports Coverage. We need to help out those college kids and support local news! We also have a plan to print a LION Program if we can get advertisers for it! Interested? Let us know!
- TOWN. After paying $3.75 for copies of meeting materials, you’d think some more stories would’ve been written by now from the Aug. 9 meeting. They’re coming. Still pursuing the question of how the Town’s Rainy Day Fund suddenly got a $3,000 boost out of nowhere. It was just at the July meeting, when there was some worry expressed by town board members that the reserve balance was only about $200. Asking.
- SPECIAL MEETINGS. The LPWA held a Special Meeting August 17, in which the board agreed to scrap current bids for town generators that are to be paid for by a $79,000 grant from The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG). It’s because the bids for five generators came in over the grant amount. New Town Trustee Andy McDaniels suggested that instead of five generators, the town seek to just get three – one to cover the fire station, one to cover the water tower, and one to travel on a trailer to meet the other needs. Fire Chief Jason Miller, who inherited making sure the town followed through on the grant after some employee turnover, said McDaniels solution should get the job done to ensure the town could maintain water and sewer service during a power outage. The board voted unanimously to re-seek bids to accommodate the new plan. Incidentally, the air conditioning for the back half of Town Hall blew the day of the meeting. Air Conditioning to the front of the building works, however no word on when the back unit might be repaired.
- ANOTHER ONE. LPWA will have another Special Meeting, August 24 at 5:30 pm at Town Hall – air conditioned or not. This meeting is to see whether trustees will vote to seek another grant involving improving water service to the town, particularly for fire hydrants.
- MEET & GREET. The Luther Register and The 115 Farmstead & Market will host a Luther Business Meet & Greet on Wednesday, September 14, from 5 – 6:30 pm – early enough for those to still get home for dinner or to mid-week Bible study. All Luther business owners and neighbors are invited for an informal networking time.
- PURCHASED. The Simmons family is moving ahead on their plans to open the old Engels Store (112 S Main) as an antique store with some booth rentals. They purchased the building from the Town and have high hopes to open by Thanksgiving (or before!).
DISCOVER OKLAHOMA. A television crew from Discover Oklahoma came to Luther on August 16 to check out the 116 Market. No word on air time yet.
- TRUSSES. Eleven Oaks Ranch is progressing with timber trusses going up for Luther’s newest event venue coming in Spring 2017. Meantime, Broken Horn Ranch continues to book events at their place. Best of all, these two new Luther businesses are friends, not competitors. Experts in Oklahoma Agri-Tourism say “rustic” events are here to stay with room for all. (Hint hint to other Luther entrepreneurs – events need things like caterers, videographers, photographers, florists, etc).
- Turnpike. Just days after an Oklahoma City attorney sued the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority challenging the constitutionality of how it funds its projects with bond money, the OTA is going after increased tolls and $480 million in bond money during meetings this week. OTA meets Tuesday morning at the newly refurbished headquarters. The bond money meeting is on Thursday. The court challenge will be heard at the Oklahoma Supreme Court on September 20.
- AUDIT. They’re here. Auditors from the State Auditor and Inspector’s Office are in town to investigate the Luther Public Schools. A citizen-led petition last year brought the audit, to be paid for by the school district at a cap of $40,000.
The petition, at the time, requested an investigation into the following four areas (at a minimum):
- Review possible mishandling of 2012 and 2013 bond project funds including but not limited to determining if any bond proceeds were expended on non-bond-related projects.
- Review of board policies, procedures and custodial recordkeeping for possible irregularities in school activity accounts.
- Review of personnel contracts and certification to determine that all personnel requiring certification are certified in the area in which they are employed and review the creation of Dean of Students for possible violation of Oklahoma nepotism statutes and district hiring procedures.
- Review expenditure and possible misuse of federal, state, and private grant funds including almost $90,000 in questioned costs identified in FY14 financial statement audit report.