By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Ackerman Board of Aldermen held their monthly meeting on September 3 and discussed several issues.
Mayor Pro Tempe Carl “Barney” Phelps led the meetings since Mayor Dick Cain was absent.
One of the first discussions was with Fire Chief Carroll Mewbourne about filing a fire report with insurance companies on structure fires.
Ward 3 Alderman George Rooks asked him why the fire department is not filing a fire report with the homeowner’s insurance company on structure fires. He said the fire department could receive a small amount of insurance money for responding to the fire call.
Mewbourne said Mayor Cain does not want them to file the report.
After more discussion, Rooks made a motion to have the Ackerman Fire Department to turn in an insurance claim on structure fires and for the insurance reimbursement to be added to the fire department fund.
Ward 1 Alderman Willie Miller seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
The board also discussed the Choctaw County Airport and cutting its grass. The town and Choctaw County both own the airport.
They discussed when the town and the county should cut the grass and whose turn it should be now.
Also, Mike Brasher, Public Works director, resigned as president of the Choctaw County Airport Board.
“I’m through with the airport until it’s time to cut it again,” said Brasher.
After more discussion, the board finally approved his resignation.
Another topic of discussion was the town’s proposed budget and health insurance increases.
Debbie Boley, town clerk, gave the board an overview of the budget stating that the town’s Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance is increasing 32 percent for the next fiscal year.
The board discussed possible changes to the insurance including increasing the deductible and looking at other companies.
After a discussion the board approved to go with a $1,000 deductible instead of the previous $500 deductible.
The board also approved:
-Library annual contribution of $1,200.
-Order to approve tax levy of 50 mils.
Before closing the meeting, the board held an executive session to discuss salaries for personnel.
After the executive session, the board approved a 2 percent raise for most employees.