Ralph Axom, with the Tulsa Walking Club, got permission from the Stilwell City Council, during a meeting Monday, April 5, to have his group host a June 19 walking event in Stilwell.

The Tulsa Walking Club is part of the National Walking Club, which sanctions events, and members from other states and towns would participate. Locals were invited to join.

“We’ll host two events that day, at 7:30 a.m. in Vinita and 1 p.m. in Stilwell,” Axom said.

Walkers carry books that are stamped for the event and receive a map. They walk in small groups of five to seven people and come from Colorado, Missouri and other states.

“Many are avid walkers who have walked in every county in Oklahoma, every state and in Europe,” Axom said.

A brief quarterly meeting of the Stilwell Improvement Authority was held before the regular council meeting. Minutes were approved, along with payment of claims $14,152.32 from the operating fund. 

A public hearing for the CDBG 2021 Water and Wastewater Construction grant was held, with no comments by community members.

During her comments, Mayor Jean Ann Wright said COVID numbers are steadily declining, with 150 active positives.

“That’s the lowest it’s been, and it’s exciting, showing people are doing what they should,” said Wright.

She reminded everyone to vote on Tuesday, so those watching on Facebook Live could be encouraged to cast ballots. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Wright said they’ve held a first meeting with the architects for the proposed new City Hall on Wednesday, March 31 and it went well. The city is hiring a full-time sanitation worker. And an online auction, at Purple Wave, generated $15,550.

A trailer that was moved without permission or permit was a topic of conversation. The family members thought they were approved to move the trailer to where it is now, but supposedly came home and found it had been relocated.

Reba Morris was opposed to the trailer, as was neighbor D.W. Lee.

“People are staying there. It’s an old trailer and not in good condition. I would prefer it not be allowed to stay,” said Lee.

Morris also asked about the ditch by her home, and was concerned about mosquitos. She was told the ditch could be addressed and perhaps dug out more to allow for better drainage.

The council did not approved the placement, and the trailer will have to be moved from 600 W. Doyle.

In his report, Chief of Police Chad Smith said in March they had 45 reports and that Detective Billy Hooper would be retiring.

Dale Dandridge, streets and sanitation department head, said everything sold well at the auction. The Chestnut Street project is about to be completed. It will stop at Fifth Street and get through the flooding problem area. Trash pickup is escalating, so Dandridge asked to order an additional eight dumpsters, which can be rented out.

“The hard freeze damaged two roads that need repair. On West Doyle, we can go all the way to Section Line Road and Spray Street. The hard freeze got, it too. We’ll go from Third to the utilities gate,” he said.

With the Parks Department, Willis Hothouse said he hired a seasonal worker, who turned out to be a good hand. Soccer is starting up and schools sports will continue, but will end soon.

The upcoming immunization clinic was the main news for Shawn Noel, Code Enforcement and Animal Control.

“We’re working with Tahlepaws for a program that will immunize 250 pets. I’ve been canvassing businesses to see about support. We’re part of a $50,000 grant the organization received,” Noel said.

Any person or business that would like to donate can reach Noel at City Hall.

“The north side of the animal shelter is good now, with a new slab, thanks to the Street Department,” said Noel.

Graffiti was discovered on the walls inside the Senior Citizens Center. It seems a door had not closed tightly. A new door had already been ordered but has not yet arrived. The walls were repainted.

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Smith spoke in the absence of Tilden Martin.

“March is the busiest we’ve had in history, with 50 calls. It broke the record of March 2018 of 49,” Smith said.

In other business, there are two Johnson Additions, so one is now Johnson Plat Addition, as the County Assessor's Office had begun differentiating them. An old fire truck will be put on the online auction.