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The Shawnee News-Star
  • COCAA contract not recommended for renewal

  • The Community Service Contract Review Committee will meet May 9 to continue review of one contract while a recommendation to not renew a separate contract has already been decided.
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  • The Community Service Contract Review Committee will meet May 9 to continue review of one contract while a recommendation to not renew a separate contract has already been decided.
    At their March 26 meeting, the committee discussed and considered renewal of six contracts, four of which they decided to recommend renewal to the City Commission after the May 9 meeting.
    At the May 9 meeting, committee members are expected to discuss the Safe Events for Families contract before making a decision whether or not to fund it. The committee has requested Safe Events for Families provide a budget to show where the funds will be spent, a list of current board members and an audit when completed prior to the decision.
    At the March 26 meeting, committee members discussed a contract with Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency/Central Oklahoma Transit, but decided to make a recommendation to not renew a $58,500 contract with them for fiscal year 2014-2015.
    A reliable source told The Shawnee News-Star COCAA’s contract is recommended for non-renewal because they did not have a clean audit.
    COCAA Executive Director Rebecca Stone said the City of Shawnee did not renew their contract last year due to audit issues but she said this year’s audit was better.
    “Obviously we were hopeful,” she said.
    She said she was surprised to hear from The Shawnee News-Star that the committee was recommending non-renewal.
    The committee’s recommendations will go before the City Commission and the commission will decide whether or not to renew contracts. Stone said she is advising her Transit Director to bring people who benefit from COCAA to the meeting to speak on their behalf. She said two years ago the commission renewed their contract against the recommendation of the committee but last year they did not.
    Stone wrote a letter to the committee dated March 20 highlighting the difference the funding from the City of Shawnee would make for local citizens.
    “COTS did not receive funding from the city in 2013-2014 year, but was able to continue and even increase the level of service within Shawnee,” she wrote. “Additional funding was available through Road to Work funding and a local contract with System of Care. Road to Work funding will not be available this year. Federal funding cuts continue to be expected, and though COCAA seeks additional funding sources to cover anticipated cuts, receiving support from the City of Shawnee plays a crucial role in keeping COTS operational.”
    Stone said many low-income residents live in the downtown area and have to use COTS for transportation across town to buy groceries and other household items. She said because of this and their better audit, she thought their contract would be renewed so she’s still holding out hope for the commission meeting.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Even if they don’t renew our contract, we’ll keep doing what we need to for our citizens,” she said.
    City officials said they were not at liberty to discuss the contracts until after the City Commission meeting.
     
     

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