ALTUS, Okla._Altus' new city manager is starting to get settled into his new role.
David Fuqua took the position just last month, replacing acting City Manager Greg Buckley. Fuqua has been a city manager for more than 20 years, and has held that position in six towns in three states, most recently at a small city in New Mexico.
Fuqua said he wants to make sure at least two things happen while he is in Altus, conserve water and maintain the city budget. He said his first impression of Altus was the community's toughness.
"I like the positive attitude. The employees have been through some hard times, like a lot of towns have, because of the economy since '08. But they seem like they have a stiff upper lip and they are still chucking forward," Fuqua said.
Although he is new, Fuqua said that he understands where the city has been with water issues. The lake was down to about nine percent, and he says the city's collective effort made the issue a lot less worse.
"Now, we have some breathing room," Fuqua said. "So, we have kind of relaxed a little bit, but still it's high on the priority. It's not going anywhere it has to be dealt with. That revolves around conserving, how do we conserve? To what extent? Where is other water sources?"
He also wants to do a better job managing the budget. Fuqua said the budget is set for about $60 million, which is similar to last year. He says the city needs to spend money now so it doesn't have to spend as much later.
"There is some money that we are going to have to spend, possibly if the council agrees to it, that is not part of our revenue source. It's some savings, which we don't really like doing, but we are behind on some equipment," Fuqua said.