The Municipal Commission approves the addition of two additional SROs for PISD
By John Lee | [email protected]il.com | Twitter: @jcl1987
City commissioners approved the addition of two school resource officers for the Pampa Independent School District at Monday’s regular meeting.
Pampa Police Chief Lance Richburg said the move was necessary and provides more security for campuses after the City of Pampa and the Pampa Independent School District opted to reduce to a single SRO in 2016.
“We had to go back to one SRO for all six campuses,” Richburg said. “Nobody liked it, nobody wanted it, but that’s where we were. We all know that recent events have taken place in our home state bringing this to the fore. This has always been front and center for us, but Shane has done a lot of research to put this in place.
Richburg said the move would improve service to schools, students and staff. While safety is paramount, Richburg said it gives students the opportunity to interact with uniformed officers and set the tone for future engagements.
“The most important thing for me is that at the elementary level, these little kids interact with an officer in uniform and see what we really look like before they get influenced at 14 and 15,” said Richburg.
Richburg added that the police department will add two positions so as not to lose any positions in the patrol division.
Stokes said the deal is a roughly 60-40 split between Pampa ISD and the City of Pampa. This not only covers salaries, but also the equipment and training needed for the job.
“We intentionally entered into a one-year agreement because we believe that with recent events, the legislature will provide funding to schools for ORS,” Stokes said. “We’ll come back to it next year and if they have more funding available, our share on that might go down.”
Earlier in the meeting, Director of Public Works Gary Turley reviewed the process of repairing last week’s major water leak in downtown Pampa.
Turley noted that the leak was reported at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The pipe was a 16 inch pipe and presented a number of challenges throughout the process.
“That was one hell of a water leak,” Turley said. “Everything we did was like we were going to take one step forward and three steps back.”
Ultimately, the leak was repaired Friday, July 22 at 9:30 p.m. The City replaced 23 feet of pipe and lost approximately five million gallons of water. But in the whole process, the city pressure only fell below 40 psi three times for two minutes or less.
“It’s still above the minimum for the state to even come close to a boil order,” Turley said.
Turley also took the time to acknowledge the crew who worked on the leak.
City Manager Shane Stokes congratulated everyone who contributed and donated to the crews who worked over 50 hours to repair the leak. Those recognized included the Leroy Cox family, the Trent Price family, Finley’s Fountain, the Latham Daughtry family and Pampa Sleep Store.
Chad Dietz, landscape architect for Parkhill Engineering, made a brief presentation to commissioners ahead of the budget discussion, providing a rendering of the City’s plans for the downtown revitalization project.
“We work with Cuyler,” Dietz said. “Our base bid project is the east side of Cuyler, the north end of Foster and the west side of Cuyler. We focus on revitalizing sidewalks, improving accessibility, curbs/gutters, ramps and reviewing steps and handrails for additional accessibility to storefronts. There will be new curbs and gutters on this part of the project. »
Dietz pointed out bumps along the sidewalk for pedestrian safety when crossing streets.
“The pedestrian now crosses 30 feet instead of 40 to 50 feet,” Dietz said. “It allows for advanced paving, landscaping, or beautification like that.”
Dietz offered several other beautification tools such as lampposts, landscaping, etc. But that was for the base offering.
Commissioner Jimmy Keough said this project will keep Cuyler on a straight road, not a curved one, as they say on social media.
Dietz confirmed that traffic patterns and parking patterns will remain the same. Mayor Lance DeFever asked if there were any concerns from the Pampa Fire Department or emergency personnel about the bumps.
Fire Chief Kasey Presson said he doesn’t see as much of a problem.
Stokes doubled down and pointed out that downtown traffic would not change at all.
Finance Director Theresa Daniels reviewed a department-by-department breakdown of the budget, but highlighted an increase in sales tax revenue of $315,000, two new SRO positions, the $1 increase for sanitation, an increase in cost of living allowance, a 4% increase for health insurance contribution and certified assessed values increasing by $9,624,205.
The commissioners also approved the following points:
• The minutes of the public hearing/regular meeting of the Commission of July 11, 2022.
• Absence of Commissioner Fisher and Commissioner Doughty at the public hearing/regular Commission meeting of July 11, 2022.
• List of disbursements dated June 2022.
• Tender for the roof of the utility/construction building to LBK Roofing, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $349,962.35.