By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Sand Springs City Council unanimously voted Monday evening to ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all City property, including public parks. Ordinance No. 1290, presented by City Planner Brad Bates, amends the existing City of Sand Springs Tobacco Free City Properties and Buildings Ordinance to include vapor-based products that have gained popularity in recent year.
The City of Sand Springs has been a "tobacco-free" city since 2009 in an effort to alleviate public health concerns and promote a healthy public environment. The City qualifies as a Certified Healthy Community and Certified Healthy Business through the State of Oklahoma's Certified Healthy program, entitling it to certain grant funding through the State Health Department. To-date, the City has received $50,000 that have been used toward healthy living and improvement studies. This new amendment is a step toward Gold Level recognition from the Health Department that would qualify the City for an additional $50,000 grant.
In other news, the Council unanimously approved the Consent Agenda, which is made up of items considered to be "routine," including:
- Approval of Resolution No. 17-07 for the 2017 City Council Election.
- Mayor Mike Burdge (Ward 3) and Vice-Mayor (Ward 4) will both be up for reelection in 2017. Citizens do not vote for Mayor or Vice-Mayor, but vote only on City Council positions. The Council itself elects a Mayor and Vice-Mayor from within.
- The filing period will open December 5th, 2016 and will close December 7th, 2016. Candidates must reside within the Ward they are running for election in, and must be at-minimum 25 years of age by May 1st, 2017. If more than two candidates file for an office, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017. The general (runoff) election will be held April 4th, 2017. City Council elections are non-partisan.
- Approval of a Traffic Enforcement Agreement between the City of Sand Springs and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office for reimbursement of overtime and operating expenses incurred for the grant period October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
- The Sand Springs Police Department will receive a $50,000 grant from OHSO for the purpose of reimbursing overtime and operating expenses resulting from the targeting of impaired and aggressive drivers. It will also allow for a designee to travel to the Lifesavers Conference in Long Beach, California.
- Approval of an Emergency Management Performance Agreement between the City of Sand Springs and the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management providing a 50/50 sub-grant portion of funds to develop comprehensive emergency preparedness for all hazards.
- This is a routine fund-matching grant that the City has taken advantage of for nearly two decades. The City allocates $20,000 for emergency preparedness each year, and FEMA matches with a contribution of $20,000.
- Acceptance of $20,090 from Sand Springs Park Friends, Inc.
- This is the final portion of the $70,000 pledge by the Sand Springs Rotary Club for construction of the Rotary Super Splash Pad in River City Parks.
Following the Consent Agenda, the Council also unanimously passed Resolution No. 17-08, with the purpose of informing Sand Springs citizens of potential impact of State Question 777 on the ability of the City to to regulate land use activities and other potential effects.
SQ777, also known as the "Oklahoma Right to Farm Amendment," will be on the November 8, 2016 ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment. The specific text of the question can be viewed here. Resolution 17-08, drafted by Vice-Mayor John Fothergill, reminds citizens of the role local government plays in regulating land usage and zoning according to the community desires and needs. The full resolution can be read here.
City Council unanimously approved a resolution concerning the location of the future public safety facility for the City. Resolution 17-06 was unanimously passed, authorizing the City to purchase 10 acres at a cost of $1.00 per foot from OmniTRAX. The current planned location of the facility is on the South side of Morrow Road, across the street from the Walmart Supercenter. The transaction will cost the City approximately $435,600. The purchase is not final yet, but the terms of the agreement are not expected to change.
Council unanimously approved the final plat for the new Stone Villa addition in South Sand Springs. The addition will include 87 lots on 19.8 acres.
In Council Correspondence, Pogue Airport and Airport Supervisor Ken Madison received praise for the quality of the airport and the hospitality of the administration.
Boy Scout Troop 507 was on hand to observe the City Council meeting and get a taste of local government.