Sand Springs Parks Department wins State Park Maintenance Rodeo

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs City Council held a regular monthly meeting Monday evening at the City Municipal Building. 

The city's Park Maintenance Workers were recognized for winning the first annual Oklahoma Recreation and Park Society Park Maintenance Rodeo. More than 40 workers from nine teams participated in the inaugural event. Kevin Rouk took second place in both the Plant/Week Identification Test and the Backpack Blower competition. Shawn Cole and Matt Hoover took third place in the Nail Drive and Backhoe Skills Course, respectively. Cole and Hoover then teamed up for the Truck/Trailer Obstacle Course and took first place. Sand Springs and Ardmore were tied for first place at the end of the competition and Shawn Cole won the title for the Sandites with a Nail Drive tie-breaker.

"Often times, government work goes unnoticed," said a memo from Projects & Facilities Manager Jeff Edwards. "It's likely because the work is performed quietly, behind the scenes, and while families and individuals are working themselves. What our staff does notice is the tireless efforts these gentlemen accept on a daily basis. They are true stewards of what great government can do for a community to make it a better place to live and play. They are quite deserving of recognition not only for their daily work ethic, but also their successes in winning the first ever State Park Maintenance Rodeo." 

The City also received a routine report from an auditor who recognized that the City of Sand Springs has "presented fairly, in all material respects, the respective financial position of the government activities..."

The Council approved the use of $1,430,278 for the reconstruction of 81st West Avenue from Charles Page Boulevard to East 10th Street. The project is estimated to cost $4,767,592, but 70% of that will be requested from the Federal government. The project will include substantial grading and drainage improvements, a left turn lane, as well as a sidewalk with crosswalk push-buttons and signals. 

Council approved a Construction Manager at Risk Contract with Crossland Construction Company to manage construction of the Sand Springs Public Safety Facility. The new safety facility will be constructed in the Sheffield Crossing development.

Council approved the use of $246,256 for the replacement of the Highway 51 Standpipe. The contract was awarded to Circle P Welding, Inc, who also replaced the Coyote Trail Standpipe. The existing water tower was constructed in 1984 with a glass lining and will be replaced with a 125,000 gallon welded steel tower. The tower is expected to begin construction in March with a 120 calendar day contract time. 

At the recommendation of Fire Chief Mike Wood, the Council approved an ordinance to allow the Sand Springs Fire Department to dissolve their existing local pension board and rely upon the State pension board. According to Wood, the local board has simply been an inconvenience and the department recently voted to eliminate it.

Council passed ordinance No. 1295, designed to simplify the existing purchasing policies of the City. 

Council voted to accept a grant of $70,105 from the Tulsa County Urban County Funds, and to match it with $71,895 of City funds, for the purpose of replacing approximately 700 feet of deteriorated 6-inch sanitary sewer line with new, upgraded 8-inch sewer line along North Washington Avenue from 6th Street to 8th Street. 

Council was presented with a letter from Sand Springs Community Services Manager Janet Eicher with the final count on the Food For Fines program. The program, which allowed outstanding fines to be paid through canned food donations, generated 6,118 pounds of contribution.

Sand Springs has officially met the criteria to become a Certified Healthy Community according to the Oklahoma Department of Health. There are three levels of certification and Sand Springs received the highest honor--Excellence. 

Sand Springs City Manager Elizabeth Gray was named the Business Person of the Year by the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce and received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Jim Bridenstine for her "outstanding and invaluable service to the community."