DURANT, OK -- The Durant City Council welcomed its newest member Tuesday and also took action on several items that will help keep residents and first responders safe if disaster strikes.
Durant's new city council member Billy Orr took his seat for the first time at Tuesday's meeting. He replaces Leon Sherrer who died in March. Orr says he has big shoes to fill, but is excited to start serving the city he has lived in for 50 years.
"Try to bring some of that experience and some of that silly sense of humor that I seem to carry to this seat and make Durant a little better place for people to live," Orr said.
At the meeting Orr and his fellow council members approved a number of items including accepting an anonymous donation of a storm shelter to be installed at the Durant Central Fire Station for the protection of on-duty firefighters.
The council also accepted the donation of a Portable Shelter for Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management, one of only ten to be given by Oklahoma Emergency Management.
"We can use it for a command post. We can use it for a triage center. We can use it for a situation when we have a lost child or a Silver Alert," EM Director James Dalton said.
At Tuesday's meeting a land lease agreement between the Durant Airport Authority and the city was also approved. Now construction can begin on a new Emergency Operation Center.
"We want to do a hardened structure, obviously so that it would be able to withstand within a catastrophic tornado or some sort of event that we could continue to man that center," Dalton said.