Pawhuska will buy fire truck

Robert Smith

The Pawhuska City Council decided Monday night to pay $39,000 for a used Tulsa fire truck. The truck has a ladder apparatus that can be raised about 10 stories into the air, interim City Manager Larry Eulert said.

Eulert said the reason for buying the Tulsa truck is that a ladder truck already owned by the city of Pawhuska has mechanical problems that prevent its ladder from being raised more than two stories. The purchase is intended to address the gap in Pawhuska’s firefighting capacity caused by the difficulty with the ladder truck it already possesses, Eulert said.

The used Tulsa ladder truck that Pawhuska is buying is a 2000 model with 69,000 miles on it. Eulert assured the Council he understood the truck had not experienced any mechanical problems. He noted the truck originally cost some $750,000, and that the city of Tulsa recently purchased several new fire trucks at about $1.2 million each.

The City Council Monday welcomed Mark Buchanan and John Brazee to new council terms. Buchanan, the incumbent Ward 3 councilor, won a new term in elections held in February. Brazee is taking over the Ward 4 seat previously held by the Rev. Travis Finley. City Attorney John Heskett administered the oath of office to Buchanan and Brazee.

The Council conducted a new election for officers and Councilman Roger Taylor was elected mayor. Councilman Rodger Milleson was elected vice mayor, and Councilman Mark Buchanan was elected chaplain.

In other business Monday, councilors, acting in their capacity as trustees of the Pawhuska Public Works Authority, heard a presentation from Drake Rice, director of Member Services for the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, about creating a policy and rates that would apply to any residential or business customers wishing to set up grid-connected systems for electric power self-generation.

The Pawhuska Public Works Authority buys electricity for its municipal electric power system from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and has an existing contract arrangement with that organization. An element of what Rice presented to the council Monday was a proposed contract amendment covering the establishment of a program to regulate any customer-owned electric power generation systems in Pawhuska.

There are no such systems in Pawhuska, but the proposed policy and contract language would govern any power self-generation systems that residential or business customers might want to establish. As drafted, the policy would apply to customer-owned wind, solar, biomass or hydro-electric systems.

The municipal trustees (the members of the City Council) voted Monday to table the proposal for further study. If it were to be adopted as proposed, the new policy would call for customers installing self-owned electricity generation systems with a capacity larger than four kilowatts to maintain general liability insurance on those systems in the amount of $1 million.