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From ORWA conference last week in Tulsa:
In his presentation, Joe was very proud that we had taken as many FAPs to the board in half a year than
in the last 5 years as a result of reducing the requirements.
In her presentation, Kate stressed out that the result of breaking down a project to avoid the
Competitive Bidding Act could result in one year in jail. [In the meantime, by taking Choctaw’s project to
the board based on the refi, and with no request for any engineering or detailed budget, we allowed the
Construction Manager to break a $771k project into 16 contracts, with suspicious amounts like $49,000.
I was left alone to figure things out.]
Ronnie Jones gave a speech about different RD loans available. It was revealing that for the smallest
loans (a maximum of $30,000), they request a full engineering report to come with the application. As I
understood it, these would be similar to our Emergency Grants.
I will leave out of this document all the non-sense that the mongoloid of Scott-Thompson blabbered (I
assume his valve must have been closed for quite a long time).

From last Division Meeting
a. The Lake Eufaula wetland project presentation
Just some background, this is one of the four projects in OCC’s CWSRF loan that is likely to
receive principal forgiveness (Green Project Reserve). The loan was approved by the board
based on another project (Stillwater’s pervious parking lot), with no engineering information
beyond a one-line description for the other three projects.
No studies have been performed to determine the positive impact in water quality that the
wetland will provide to the environment. When asked about specifics, these have been the
answers that their engineer has provided:
- “What are the treatment’s design parameters considered when putting together this
project?”
- “This is not a treatment project, but an aesthetics project”
-

“Is the wetland going to be maintained all year long?”
“No, the plan is to make it [an already flood-prone surface] wetter longer”

-

“What is going to be the impact of the wetland in water quality?”
“We know it’s going to have an impact, but we don’t know how much”

-

“At least $60,000 will be spent on roads and trails”

On top of this lack of information on the treatment portion [which should be the only thing
OWRB should care about], a newspaper bit was shown as of 3/23/17 in which it was said that
OWRB had awarded a $100k for a wetland project in Eufaula. By the length of the bit, I am
pretty sure they had way more information than the one we have as of today.

b. What I remember from Joe’s interventions
1. When asked about what happened if once we close a loan without engineering documents,
the projects is denied a permit to construct by DEQ later on  If they come to us for a
project, it is because they have a need. If they have a need, they will find a solution with
DEQ to get the permit to construct.
2. When questioning the purpose of the new financial capacity letter (the one we put together
for Skiatook that basically said “if bids come high, we will ask for another loan”). I asked him
how doesn’t this apply to every single municipality in the world.  There is nothing in the
rules that prevents us from doing this. All we are asking is for you to do your job [I
understood that “you” as a “you all”, not like a personal statement].
3. When reminded how having bids coming high is becoming the rule instead of the exception
(linked probably to the fact that no engineering studies are conducted properly)  We have
been doing this for 26 to 30 years.
His replies were always very confrontational, and his expression was that of a really pissed off
guy (kind of like guilty-pissed-off). He was especially mad when Vivek mentioned a couple of
things that were taking a bad direction, based on the results we have been witnessing in the
past couple of months (bids coming high, loss of control over projects’ management). At a point,
Charles stepped in and told him that no-one was judging or being disrespectful (basically telling
Joe to chill out). Honestly, I think that was good coming from your boss, I didn’t expect it.


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