By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Sand Springs City Council met in a regular monthly meeting Monday evening at the City Municipal Building.
Brian Carr with the Tulsa Area United Way gave a brief presentation regarding the 2017 United Way Campaign in which the City of Sand Springs participates.
The Council planned to present a plaque to AEP/PSO employees for their recent volunteer work in removing and replacing netting at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course. A lot of the netting was damaged in the March 2015 tornado that also devastated a pair of mobile home parks and the Jerry Adair Baseball Park. Several AEP employees volunteered their services to the extensive project over the last year.
Blake Little, Jake Kinman, James Cooke, Ben Bryan, Chuck Bunch, and Joe Chambers worked on the project. "That's kind of what Sand Springs is; people just jump in and help when they're needed," said City Manager Elizabeth Gray. The volunteers were unable to attend the meeting but the Council plans to find another day to meet with them and thank them.
The City voted to unanimously approve the consent agenda which included six items considered to be routine. Part of the agenda included approval of a renewed contract with EMSA for emergency medical services. The cost of EMSA's services will increase by approximately 17.89%, but it is not expected to impact the City at this time. The City expected and budgeted for the increase in Fiscal Year 2016, but the increase never came to fruition.
According to Mayor Mike Burdge, 4-5% is the typical increase. This year the increase is so high "due to general increases in operating costs and the impact of Medicaid cuts on patient receipts," says EMSA Chief Financial Officer Kent Torrence. Fire Chief Mike Wood still considers it to be a good deal compared to other options.
The Council approved a new 2017 Calendar Year schedule of regular meetings for the Council and Municipal Authority. The new schedule will have the Council meeting once per month, which will total twelve regular meetings as opposed to the current schedule of nineteen. This year the Council has meet twice per month with exception for the summer months (June July and August) and holiday months (November and December).
The meetings are to be held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m., the same time and day as they currently are. The meetings will be January 23rd, February 27th, March 27th, April 24th, May 22nd, June 26th, July 24th, August 28th, September 25th, October 23rd, November 27th, and December 18th. December 18th is the third Monday of the month, as the fourth Monday falls on Christmas Day. There will also be a special session held Monday, May 8th to swear in new council members.
The Council unanimously approved “a resolution affirming dilapidation public nuisance administrative hearing findings and authorization for the bringing of any action necessary in District Court.” The resolution applies to three dilapidated buildings slated for demolition sometime in October. The ten-day administrative appeals process expired without any appeals received and the property owners now have thirty days following the approval of the resolution to challenge the decision. The properties are located at 714 N. Washington Ave., 301 N. Franklin Ave., and 223 N. Industrial Ave.
City Council unanimously approved a contract with Dewberry Architects for design of the new public safety facilities. In September of 2015 the citizens of Sand Springs voted to pass a dedicated sales tax to build new police, fire, courts, and 911 facilities.
The City is still looking at 129th and Wekiwa as the optimal location for the new facilities, but is open to other locations should a better situation present itself.
The Council unanimously approved Resolution 17-02, related to park funding and improvements.