City Commission discusses community involvement for clean-up

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The City of Pampa Commissioners met Monday afternoon for a regularly-scheduled meeting. Commissioner Brian Doughty was absent for the meeting.

Following the opening formalities, Mayor Lance DeFever opened the meeting discussing the community’s involvement in cleaning up Pampa.

“I’ve been working with City Manager Shane Stokes and, as everyone knows, during the last election an item that was popular was cleaning up our town,” DeFever said. “Certainly everyone is concerned about that. As we discussed at the last meeting, Shane and so many of our staff members work very diligently and hard to devote a lot of time and resources to that very item.

“One thing I’ve campaigned about is trying to work with our community to develop a plan to possibly help in that issue.”

DeFever suggested each ward, plus himself, come up with five community members to serve on a task force-type committee.

Stokes agreed with DeFever on the idea and says other cities have a “citizens academy.”

“It’s an opportunity for citizens to sign up and go through classes that are put forth by the City,” Stokes said. “That educates the citizens but what you’re talking about is more specific to clean-up and code enforcement issues.”

Commissioner Paul Searl said he has been looking at other cities that tackle their issues in a similar fashion. Commissioners Bryan Fisher and Jimmy Keough agreed with the idea.

The Commissioners received a presentation from Finance Director Robin Bailey informing the Commissioners on special funds such as the hotel tax, the Lovett Memorial Library and leased properties.

Later in the meeting, the City Commissioners approved a $15,000 forgivable loan to Wiskey Grills through the Pampa Economic Development Corporation.

Pampa EDC Executive Director Clay Rice said Wiskey Grills will be operated by Julie and Rich Wiskey and that there has already been a public hearing concerning the business with no opposition.

“But at the public presentation before, the Wiskeys had about a dozen people there supporting them,” Rice said. “With each project we do, we have to have a public hearing. If the project is under $10,000, we won’t be coming to you. But if it’s over, we have to get it approved by you.”

Wiskey Grills will sell American-made barbecue grills and accessories.

“They will have items such as the pellets you cook with, spices, rubs, etc.” Rice said. “They have a suite selected on Hobart Street across from United Supermarkets.”

Rice said people throughout the Panhandle will be excited about this niche business, but there are some contingencies.

“They do have to enter into a lease or purchase a building,” Rice said. “It is a $15,000 forgivable loan not to exceed 60 months. The loan is forgivable through the hiring of employees.”

Commissioner Jimmy Keough noted that he has seen there are a lot of local vendors and businesses involved in the business as well. Rich confirmed that observation.

“Our commitment to Pampa has been really shown through this,” Rich said. “I’ve talked to as many local people as I can. I had a guy come to me at church and said, ‘My dad makes cutting boards.’ I told them I was thinking about that. It’s just how this thing works and we love it.”

The business is tentatively set to open Aug. 21.

The Commissioners also approved the following items:

• Minutes of the June 14, 2021 Regular Commission Meeting as presented.

• Excuse the absence of Commissioner Bryan Fisher from the June 14, 2021 Regular Commission Meeting.

• Second and final reading Ordinance No. 1753, an Ordinance by the City Revising in the Code of Ordinances the definition of Health Officer to include Code Enforcement Officer.

• List of Disbursements dated May 2021.

• Resolution No. R21-023, a Resolution by the City of Pampa approving the second amendment to the Meredith Supply Agreement with Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

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