Sand Springs City Council approves General Obligation Bond vote for November

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter discusses the department's need for updated dispatch software at a Monday night City Council meeting. (Photo: Emigh).

The Sand Springs City Council unanimously approved a series of bond propositions at Monday night’s regular monthly meeting. The five propositions will appear on the ballot November 14th at the same time as the Senate District 37 special election. Each proposition will pass or fail on its own, and will require a simple majority of 50% plus one vote.

Proposition One totals $3.505 million for the purpose of improving street conditions and constructing new roadways. “The City has always made an effort to make streets and roadways here in Sand Springs a priority,” said City Manager Elizabeth Gray. $1.445 million will be used for street overlays and repairs, while $2.06 million will go to a new roadway over the levee separating Case Community Park from the Sheffield Crossing commercial development.

Proposition Two totals $2.27 million for the purpose of purchasing new public safety equipment and software. The money will be used to replace a fifteen-year-old Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software for the Sand Springs Police Department, as well as the Records Management System. A new ladder truck will also be purchased for the Sand Springs Fire Department. The new unit will be able to navigate tighter spaces and will have a ladder approximately 30 feet longer than the current unit.

Proposition Three totals $3.765 million for the purposes of beautifying, renovating, and generally improving public parks, lands, recreational facilities, etc. $592,250 will go to paving the parking lot at the Jerry Adair Baseball Complex inside Case Community Park. $203,000 will go to Museum building improvements, $420,500 will go to park improvements, $231,750 will go to neighborhood trail improvements, $2.06 million will go to improvements at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge, and $257,500 will go towards improvements at the Keystone Ancient Forest. KAF improvements will include a watch tower and a new visitor’s center.

Proposition Four totals $2.625 million for the purpose of improving municipal facilities and assets. $412,000 will go to purchasing a vacuum truck, $1.9055 million will go to City-wide beautification and landscaping, and $307,500 will go to City-wide computer hardware and software upgrades. According to City officials, the current vacuum truck is utilized daily and is one of the most heavily used piece of equipment in the city.

Part of the beautification and landscaping funds will go to the City Water Treatment facility on the corner of Morrow Road and Wilson Avenue. “We want to make sure that we don’t have an eyesore that people can see anymore,” said Gray. "The water tower is coming down, it’s already funded. The water treatment facility isn’t going to be moved, it’s just too expensive. We want to make sure that our city looks as good as it can.”

Proposition Five totals $6.180 million will go to acquisition, improvement, and development of lands for future economic development projects. “Our citizens still have wants that they want to see locally, and we want to see that happen,” said Police Chief Mike Carter. “Look no further than Walmart and Webco. Those would not have happened if the City didn’t have those resources.”

Under the proposal, the city millage rate will be kept to $13 per $1,000 of property value. According to City officials, the most Sand Springs citizens have ever paid was $13.5. “Even when we go to 13 mills, our millage rate will be below Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Broken Arrow, and Tulsa,” said Councilman Phil Nollan. “It was intentional,” added Mayor Mike Burdge. 

In other news:

Council approved a renewal of their ten-year sales tax rebate agreement with Reasor’s, LLC. The 1% agreement caps at $2 million and is currently at $1.022 million after five years.

Council approved a $251,708 annual subsidy of EMSA services.

Council approved a contract of up to $190,000 with Dewberry Architects for expenses relating to the new Public Safety Facility.

Council approved the closure of the Southern half of Case Community Park from Sunday, September 3rd through Monday, September 4th. The park will serve as the launching point for the Great Raft Race that Monday. The park will also be closed to normal operations on September 9th and 10th due to the Riverfest Grand Opening event. 

Council approved a transfer of $20,000 for a sidewalk improvement project in Concord Estates.

Council approved an ordinance rezoning the formerly-planned Arms Estates housing addition from RS-2 to RS-3. Arms Estates was originally planned in 1958 but ceased development after a single home. The property is located between East 31st Place and East 32nd Place off South 113th West Avenue.

Alan Betchan of AAB Engineering plans on developing a twelve-lot subdivision named Rivercrest. The new zoning allows the lots to be as little as 60 feet wide, as opposed to 75 feet minimum under RS-2. The lots are expected to be about 70 feet wide and 9,000 square feet. The addition will include single-story homes approximately 1800 square feet, and two-story homes approximately 2200 square feet. They are expected to range from $200,000 to $300,000.

Council voted to create an exemption from the Sand Springs Parks Fee for new buildings on lots that have been previously developed as residential.

Council voted to approve current plans for a hardened room (storm shelter) to be constructed at the Case Community Center. Preliminary designs have been drafted by Studio 45 for a 40x14 room with an occupancy load of 97, able to withstand 250 mph winds. “This is simply a place for occupants of the building, this is not a community shelter” said Parks Director Grant Gerondale. The project will go to bid this fall.

Council awarded a $715,710 contract to Circle P Welding, Inc. for the replacement of the South McKinley Hills Water Storage Tank.

Councilman Brian Jackson announced the acquisition of several surplus books from the National Library of Congress that have been gifted to Sand Springs Public Schools.

The Sand Springs Museum Association will hold an annual meeting on August 5th that is open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Connie Fisher, a museum volunteer and nationally acclaimed storyteller, will provide entertainment.