Trick or Treat night announced in Blackwell at council meeting

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell City Council met for a brief regular meeting Thursday night which ran just under half-an-hour and included the declaration of Trick or Treat Night on October 31 and a presentation by the Blackwell Fire Department over their new state-of-the-art drone as well as a recognition of Department of the Month with the City of Blackwell’s Fleet Department.

The meeting began with Fire Chief Cory Hanebrink and Blackwell Fire Department’s Lt. Seth Brown showing off the BFD’s new drone to the council, explaining the benefits of the machine, and showing off their footage from the drone’s first official flight.

“We’re blessed to have it,” said Hanebrink, “we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we can do with this new technology.”

The drone is equipped with thermal imaging technology and motion tracking. It can withstand 25 mph wind, with gusts up to 30 mph. It is also capable of setting up grids, and allowing for multiple people to view the screen, remotely.

This advanced drone will be crucial in helping to locate missing persons, examine the complexity of a grass fire, help to detect the source of water leaks in the winter and fly along power lines to assess storm damage, among many other life-saving applications.

The City of Blackwell’s Fleet crew were recognized for their oft-unnoticed work behind the scenes maintaining Blackwell’s cars and trucks for the electric department, P.D., fire, street department, and more.

Moving onto department reports, Blackwell Public Library’s Director of Operations Talyn Spence, Police Chief Jay Brewer, Fire Chief Hanebrink, Code Enforcement’s Brad Severson, Street & Parks Department Manager Chuck Anderson, and Water Department’s Roman Stevens all updated the council.

Spence said that the library had held their first “Crafty Ladies” meeting with an attendance of 21 people who came to decorate Halloween-themed door mats. She also mentioned the library received over 150 new titles and served well over 200 meals as part of their after-school meal program. She also thanked the BPD for their “Story Time” with kids last month. She also noted that there close to 2,000 visitors for the month of September.

BPD Chief Brewer noted that 911 calls were down, and that Blackwell Animal Control had adopted out 11 animals last month.

Fire Chief Hanebrink said that the department took over 25 calls last month and EMS services had over 130 calls. He also elaborated on the structural collapse class which will be held soon at the old Parkside School in conjunction with Homeland Security. Hanebrink stated that the class will beone of the only times something like it is being held outside of the Oklahoma City / Tulsa rea.

Code Enforcement gave progress reports on the duplexes at the former Huston Center school and thanked all the volunteers who showed up last week for the Main Street clean up. Codes sent 220 notices, marked one structure as dilapidated, and performed 25 inspections.

Chuck Anderson, manager for the Street & Parks Department, said that September was busy with the fair set up, winterizing the pool and splash pad, and doing cleaning in anticipation for Homecoming.

Roman Stevens with the Water Department said that they will be tying their new lines on 9th street into Doolin and then testing the new lines for service soon.

City Manager Jerry Wieland then gave hs report, noting that there were “a lot of great things happening” including the sidewalk project on Main, renovations to the Top of Oklahoma Museum’s Club Room, the Blackwell Public Library being repainted, the opening of Blackwell Fire’s Station 2 on 13th Street, and more.

Onto business, the council approved October 31 as Trick or Treat Night between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

They also approved Blackwell Fire Department’s new ambulance which will be paid for by the county Fire Sales tax.