Poteau appoints Johnson to empty spot

By KEN MILAM

The Poteau City Council voted Monday night to appoint B.J. Johnson to fille the seat left empty by the recent untimely death of council member Clay Bennett.

The council held a brief executive session before approving the appointment at the end of Monday’s meeting. Johnson was then sworn in by City Attorney Marc Bovos.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Wages said Heavener senior Sean Miller was awarded one of the four Jeff Shockley Memorial Scholarships, and that two Poteau High School seniors and a Spiro High School senior also will be recipients.

The council voted to table action on a specific use permit by Broadway Xtract to locate a cannabis processing facility in the old car dealership at 3007 N. Broadway. The business would process medical marijuana into concentrates to be used in edible products and sold to other dispensaries.

The vote was split, 5-2, with Connie Shockley and Monte Shockley II voting against tabling.

A related specific use permit for a cannabis growing facility in the same building was approved, also on a 5-2 vote, but with Winfred Webb and Jim Holstead in the nay column.

On other action, Garret Box was granted full-time benefits with the Sewer Department.

The council voted to seek bids for installing the sanitary sewer east interceptor. The line would travel from North Witter to the lift station and on to the Wal-Mart area, replacing a line installed in the 1970s. About $1.4 million of the estimated $1.8 million project would be paid from federal Covid relief funds.

Most of the council’s other business dealt with nuisance property issues.

Members voted to declare the old flower shop at 601 S. Harper a hazard and gave owner Nan Lea Dickerson 30 days to fix the property or face having it torn down.

A piece of property at 406 S. Church also was given 30 days before it is removed as a detriment or a hazard.

Four other sites, 811 S. Harper, 206 Park Street, 700 College and 408 North Avenue, were approved for mowing and cleanup by the city.

Pieces of property along the 600 block of Dewey Avenue — 603, 603B and 609 — were removed from the agenda after Mayor Scotty because White said that New Beginnings Church has purchased the properties and is beginning to take care of them.

Arvest Bank representative Jared Polk gave a presentation to the City Council about the City of Poteau using P-cards for its transactions instead of the customary credit cards. Polk said that there is extra security, tracking ability on what is spent and ease with reporting expenses among other things.

Robertson made a motion, seconded by Connie Shockley, that a committee be formed to look further into the matter.

In her report, Historic Downtown Poteau Director Mary Parham said the monthly Artisan’s Market will be open on the second Saturday each month and last until at least September, with a different themed event each month.

Parham said the weekly Farmer’s Market will begin at 10 a.m. Friday and will be open weekly until at least September.


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