Members of the Grove City Council approved the land, where the F-4 Phantom Jet will rest once it arrives in Grove in 2018.

The land, which sits next to the Ferra Aerospace property on Highway 59, officially annexed into the city limits by a vote of 4 to 0 during the Tuesday, Nov. 7 meeting. 

Councilman Josh McElhaney was absent from the meeting. 

The land was donated to the city, for the location of the F-4 Phantom, by Ferra officials in October. If the land ceases to be used for that purpose, it will revert back to Ferra ownership.

The annexation meets the requirements, set forth by the Oklahoma State Agency for Surplus Property, and helps pave the way for the jet's eventual placement in Grove.

Those standards include the loaned aircraft will be placed on “city owned property” and located “within the corporate limits” of Grove.

During the meeting, members of the F-4 team - which includes Dave and Beverly Helms, Pete Norwood and now Grove Chamber of Commerce President Donnie Crain, reiterated while city officials will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the loaned aircraft, Ferra Aerospace officials will be responsible for mowing and maintaining the property.

Norwood and the Helms also updated the council concerning the project, which calls for the jet to be brought from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in early 2018.

Dave Helms said donations were coming in "on schedule" but joked his wife might have to sell her Camaro for the project.

Helms said the foundation work is being completed, and he is in the process of completing the mounting plates for the plane.

The Helms and Norwood plan to travel to New Mexico in the coming days to pick up additional parts.

The team estimates the plane will arrive in Grove sometime between the end of February to the first part of April, weather permitting.

Recognizing service

Grove Police Officers Jeff Glenn and David McCracken, along with Detective John Morrow, were recognized by the council for "meritorious service in the line of duty."

The commendation, written by Grove Police Chief Mark Morris and read by Grove Mayor Ed Trumbull, the men's actions during a volatile incident in October with a suicidal man, were outlined.

The incident, which took place approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, involved the call of a suicidal man at an apartment on the east side of Grove.

"Officers Jeff Glenn and David McCracken responded to a call," wrote Morris. "When Officer Glenn made contact with this individual he was told by the suicidal man he didn't want to talk to Officer Glenn, but was going to come outside and make Officer Glenn shoot and kill him."

Morris said the man came out of his apartment with a hatchet, yelling for the officers to kill him.

Morris said his men maintained control of the situation, but tactically backed up, as the man approached them with a hatchet.

"After several intense minutes the man started to cry and started walking away from the officers," Morris said. "He then dropped the hatchet and ran into the woods near the apartments."

Morris said a foot pursuit ended when Morrow was able to maneuver his patrol unit in a way which blocked the man's escape route.

"Detective Morrow exited his vehicle and drew his taser and confronted the suicidal man," Morris said. "The man quickly responded asking not to be tased and complied with orders to lie on the ground."

Morris said the officers were able to take the man into custody without further incident and later transported him to a mental facility for treatment.

"Officers McCracken and Glenn under the conditions could have used deadly force on this person," Morris said. "However both officers putting themselves at great risk were able to avoid a tragic incident due to their bravery, experience and patience.

"Detective Sgt. Morrow’s quick action to close the man’s avenue of escape and confront him to stop and comply played a huge part ending this incident."

Morris said all three men were being recognized for "bravery and conduct depicting sound judgement."

"We see incidents like this on the news all of the time, often with tragic endings and shootings," Morris said, as he honored his men. "I couldn't be prouder. They did an outstanding job."

Other business

The council approved the request by Crain to use the Grove Convention and Tourism Bureau’s logo as a model for an updated chamber logo.

In making his presentation, Crain said he wanted to create a unified branding between the city and chamber. 

The council also approved making a one-time salary adjustment for city employees not yet eligible for longevity pay.

Per the city’s personal policies, an employe who has been employed by the city for a minimum of four consecutive years, is eligible for longevity pay or $5 per month of employment with a maximum of $1,200. For those not employed for four years, a one-time salary adjustment of $150 is given, if the city’s budget allows.

Lisa Allred, city treasurer, estimates the longevity pay, combined with the salary adjustment pay, will cost the city budget $50,450 for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Council members approved a request made by Garver, LLC, to replace the existing airport rotating beacon with a new beacon on top of the water tower located adjacent to the former Grove Battery plant.

The project will be eligible for a 90 percent reimbursement from the FAA. Lisa Jewett said the airport authority will provide the city with the necessary funds for the design work - $8,600, and in turn, upon reimbursement from the FAA, the city will pass the funds - minus the 10 percent match, back to the authority. 

The council also approved the 2018 Airport Capital Improvement Plan.

Council members unanimously approved a new management agreement with DOCServices, Inc., to serve as the manager for the Grove Senior Center.

The new agreement replaces the existing one, which expired approximately one year ago.

The council also approved a request by officials from the Delaware County Health Department to use the Grove Civic Center in the event of a “disaster or crisis” for the purpose of “providing vaccination clinics and/or mass antibiotic distribution centers," as well as the 2017-18 street repairs, and the termination of Trinity Baptist Church's lease for the property at 206 Elk Street.

Other items approved include:

• leasing the former Trinity Baptist Church to members of Grace Presbyterian Church.

• amended a personnel policy regarding the accrual of vacation leave. 

• approved a bid - with Trumbull abstaining - for the repair of roofs on five different city facilities.

• approved updating the CPR class rate, offered by the fire department to $65 per person. 

If You Go

Chili Luncheon for the F-4 Phantom

A chili luncheon to benefit the F-4 Phantom’s homecoming in Grove, will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (or until supplies run out), on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Crye-Leike Realtors in Grove.

The meal costs a donation of $5 per person. For more information, persons interested may call 918-787-6100. Crye-Leike is located at 1104 South Main, in Grove.