During its April 14 meeting, the Durant City Council voted to approve a resolution to extend the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic until April 30.

This resolution will continue to limit gatherings around the city, directs the city manager not to issue permits for events with certain projected attendance numbers, delays the municipal court dockets and also authorized the city manager to adjust operations and services as necessary in response.

After a brief discussion and consultation with financial advisors, the council also approved Resolution 2020-11, which includes a $13,280,000 note.

The council clarified that $11 million of the note would be spent on street improvements and the remaining portion on water improvements, falling in line with task force recommendations.

Financial Advisor Chris Gander informed council members that several of the national bank lenders had backed out of the loan bid process during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, but locally owned First United Bank remained as the lone bidding institution.

They were awarded the bid at a 3 percent interest rate, which was a slight quarter of a percent increase from what Gander had proposed during the March council meeting.

They also stated that the security pledge would be the same collateral as on a large portion of the city’s current outstanding debt.

The council took no action on the Updated Compensation Plan and Salary Schedule that was recommended by McGrath Human Resources Group that would take effect July 1.

An assistance agreement for $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation for automatic meter readers throughout the city was unanimously approved.

An emergency utility bore, completed by W. Brown Enterprises, in the amount of $20,027.70 was also passed for the utility infrastructure improvements necessary to support Tubacex Durant, Inc.

They also closed out the Community Development Block Grant for Economic Development, which was in the amount of $1 million, from the Department of Commerce. It supported new job creations benefiting the Commercial Metals Company Facility located at 585 Old Highway 70.

The council was informed the three-year grant came in under budget at just over $27,000 and created a total of 184 jobs for the Durant area.

A total of $80,000 was left over from the grant and used to complete an overlay on McLean Road, which was finished in January.

City employees were recognized for their years of service by the council. Those included five years for Joshua Mullins, Scott Seiber and Jeffrey Rush; 10 years for Cynthia Price, Richard Ezell, Andrew Piper and Joyce Cornelison; and15 years for Russell Harkey, Rocky McDaniel, Kenneth Rodgers, Darla Smith and Jerry Risner.

The council approved a proclamation declaring April as Fair Housing Month.

City Manager John Dean was appointed to the Southern Oklahoma Development Association Board of Directors. An annual contract with Caliber Public Safety was also passed to update the Bryan County 911 addressing.