City Council invests in bringing retail to Blackwell; sets date for 2021 Fair

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell City Council met Thursday night to honor two longtime city employees, with one retiring and one eagerly looking forward to his next several years with the City of Blackwell. 
The meeting began at 6 p.m. with the recognition of Blackwell Firefighter Bryan Cavett, who retired after 25 years of service.

A retirement party took place Friday afternoon in City Hall, where cake and punch were served. City Manager Jerry Wieland spoke fondly of Cavett, noting the hundreds of hours he spent on-call, away from his family, serving the public for years. Jerry Eubanks, the city’s public works director, then recognized Electric Department Manager Greg Sixkiller for his 35 years of service to Blackwell Public Power.

Cavett and Sixkiller, who said they are close friends, spoke together and reminisced on their time with the City of Blackwell. Both got sentimental and teary-eyed as they thanked their respective departments for their time.

The Council heard department reports from the Top of Oklahoma Museum, Golf Course Authority, Blackwell Industrial Authority, Blackwell Economic Development Authority, Blackwell Lake Trust Authority and the Tourism Board.. The City Council approved, among other things, an amendment to their agreement with Ricky Hays and Retail Attractions, LLC, which were integral in bringing a Dollar Tree store to Blackwell.

Wieland and City Attorney Bryce Kennedy discussed the amendment, under which the city would pay Hays $1,500 more per month for the highest tier of service he offers. This would allow the city unlimited access to the agency, as well as having Hays on-call for any visits and reports. Kennedy said this was the same deal Enid had in place, and noted Enid’s business boom.

Council members said they agreed that the relationship with Hays had been profitable and worth Blackwell’s time. They unanimously agreed with the new terms. The Council then appointed Mitzi Neuman, Lynn Fields and Cindy Oard to one-year terms on the Blackwell Tourism Board.

The Council also appointed Scott Shepherd to a three-year term on the Blackwell-Tonkawa Airport Authority; Jason Boesch to a five-year term on the Blackwell Hospital Trust Authority; and Penny Anthony, Angie Prince, Kayla Ware and Lori Buesing to three-year terms on the Youth Center Board. The Council also appointed Pat Hullet to fill an unexpired three-year term on the Blackwell Industrial Authority.

The City Council then approved Level Construction for the removal of dilapidated structures at: 216 S. 4th Street, 427 W. Padon Ave., 1110 W. College Ave., 1103 W. Lincoln Ave., 277 Enlow Ave., 639 E. Padon Ave., 450 E. Lincoln Ave., 440 E. Padon Ave. and 916 W. Padon Ave. After adjourning the Council meeting, the Blackwell Municipal Authority convened, followed by the Blackwell Facilities Authority.

The facilities authority approved a sub-lease agreement with the Kay County Free Fair Board for the county fairgrounds to be leased the second week in September for “fair week,” which was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.