Sand Springs City Council approves permits for city's first marijuana dispensaries

Police Chief Mike Carter was recognized for 25 years of service at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Medical Marijuana took center stage at Monday night’s Sand Springs City Council meeting.

Specific Use Permits (SUPs) were approved for a medical marijuana cultivation facility, as well as a dispensary, owned by Dr. Cannabis, LLC at 3417 S. 113th W. Ave., Suite B3. An SUP was also granted to Therapeutic Herbal Care, LLC to open a dispensary at 1126 E. Charles Page Blvd.

Council denied an SUP to David Dietrich for the purpose of opening a cultivation facility at 15208 W. Weaver Road. The facility would have been located in a predominately residential area, and numerous neighbors requested that Council deny the permit. At a recent Planning Commission meeting, nearby residents cited concerns about the effect that a cultivation facility would have on the neighborhood’s water pressure.

Nature’s Candy Dispensary was subject of discussion surrounding their name. The organization agreed to legally do business as Nature’s Apothecary at a Planning Commission meeting earlier this month, due to objections to the use of the word “candy” in regards to a medicinal substance. New objections were raised by Councilman Jim Spoon to the use of the word “apothecary.” According to Spoon, businesses dealing in marijuana are banned from using the word “apothecary” by the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy. A motion was approved to award an SUP to the business on conditions that they not use any terms relating to pharmacy or candy. The dispensary will be located at 3417 S. 113th W. Ave., Suite A2.

In other news:

Oklahoma Municipal League representative Pam Polk presented a certificate to Police Chief Mike Carter in recognition of 25 years of service. Fleet Technician Michael O’Dell was not present, but will also be receiving the award.

Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution of support for the Sand Springs Public Schools’ General Obligation Bond Propositions 1 & 2. The propositions total $32,850,000 and will provide funding for transportation equipment and the construction of a new Ninth Grade Center and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Academy on the grounds of Charles Page High School. The measures will go to a vote of the people on March 5th.

Council unanimously voted to affirm dilapidation public nuisance hearing findings for a fire-damaged residential building at 405 West 7th Street.

Council unanimously voted to approve a Beautification Wall project at the City’s Water Treatment Plant on the corner of Highway 97 and Morrow Road. The funding for the project was passed by voters as a G.O. Bond measure in November of 2017. Council awarded the construction project to Crossland Construction Company, Inc. in the amount of $1,113,807.60. Council also awarded an administration and inspection contract to Keithline Engineering Group, PLLC in the amount of $98,118.87.

Council approved an ordinance authorizing the City of Sand Springs Police Department to remove individuals from private and public properties, without involving the property owner. The measure gives property owners the ability to inform the department of individuals banned from their property, and authorizes officers to remove that individual without first establishing contact with the property owner. This also includes nonspecific entities, such as bans on loitering or semi truck parking.

Council approved an ordinance authorizing the City Manager to determine individual salaries.

Council approved a $250,000.00 Title Sponsorship agreement with the Sharna and Irvin Frank Foundation, including naming rights and expanded hours with paid staff at the Keystone Ancient Forest visitors’ center. Voters approved funding for construction of a visitors’ center in a 2017 G.O. Bond election, but the sponsorship agreement will provide additional funding for increased visitors hours and a larger facility.

Council approved $100,322.00 for the purchase and instillation of communication equipment for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center.

Council approved granting an easement to OmniTrax for railroad property abutting the upcoming Main Street project in downtown. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be bidding the project in February of this year, with construction set to begin soon after. Main Street will be rebuilt from 1st Street south to its current terminus, with a new section of road connecting Main Street west to Highway 97. A new frontage road will also be built to connect Main Street to the Lincoln Avenue On-Ramp onto Highway 412.

OmniTrax operates the Sand Springs Railway, which runs railways across Main Street, Morrow Road, and Highway 97. The easement will allow the railway to continue normal operations throughout the construction project.

Sand Springs Progress Report

Construction continues on various City projects around Sand Springs. Here are some recent photos of the progress.

Pratt Civitan Park is receiving a restroom building at 213 West 44th Street. Pratt Civitan is home to the only splash pad on the south side of Sand Springs, as well as swings, tennis and basketball courts. A speed hump is also planned for 44th Street in front of the park.

The biggest work site lies in the area of Sheffield Crossing. The City is rebuilding Morrow Road and adding a center turn lane to accommodate the increased traffic expected from the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. Both the road and the facilities will be completed this spring. The center will house municipal jail and courts, a police station, and a fire department.

A new parking lot has been recently completed in Case Community Park at the Rotary Super Splash Pad. The parking lot is located on the other side of the creek from the previous unpaved parking area. A paved parking lot is also in progress at the Jerry Adair Baseball Complex, and new concrete sidewalks have also been constructed.

Other projects on the horizon in Sand Springs include:

  • An observation platform above the tree canopy at the Keystone Ancient Forest.

  • A paved parking lot and visitor’s center at Keystone Ancient Forest.

  • Beautification efforts across the city.

  • A new playground at Angus Valley Park.

  • Main Street will be rebuilt from First Street south to its current terminus at 404 South Main Street. The road will also be extended west to a new intersection at Highway 97.

  • A new frontage road connecting Main Street to the Highway 412 on-ramp at Lincoln Avenue.

  • A new roadway along the Arkansas River levee from Highway 97 west into Case Community Park.

  • The City also has eighteen acres of prime real estate in the Sheffield Crossing Development preserved to incentivize a hardware and lumber store.

Expedia names Sand Springs as Oklahoma's best getaway location

Sand Springs Lake Park in summer.

Sand Springs Lake Park in summer.

Expedia.com, one of the nation’s leading travel websites, has named Sand Springs as the “Best Place To Escape To” in the State of Oklahoma in a recent travel blog.

California-based traveler Lily Rogers recently published the article, titled “Best Place To Escape To In Every State.”

“From quaint small towns to quiet nature preserves, this country is full of places to escape to,” says Rogers. Sand Springs has both, with a homey downtown shopping district and the largest municipally-owned nature preserve in the state.

Rogers references the Keystone Lake, Keystone Ancient Forest, and Shell Lake as reasons for her selection of Sand Springs as the best getaway in Oklahoma.

Keystone Ancient Forest is Sand Springs’s best-kept secret. The 1,360 acre park features 300-year-old post oaks and 500-year-old cedars with wildlife, beautiful scenery, and 4.4 miles of hiking trails. Famed Sleepy Hollow author and explorer Irving Washington even crossed through the area in 1832 and wrote extensively of its beauty and rugged terrain in his journals.

The City of Sand Springs recently passed a general obligation bond measure that will help to fund a visitor’s center and a watch tower that will elevate visitors above the forest canopy in the near future.

The park is only open to visitors on select Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in order to keep the area pristine. Hike With Your Dog days are also scheduled throughout the year, and the forest’s Fourth Annual Ancient Trail Trek is set for February 9th, featuring a 5K, 10K, and fun run.

The Ancient Forest isn’t the only unique natural site in Sand Springs. Visitors can also fish and boat on the Keystone Lake, Shell Lake, and the Arkansas River. Bald Eagles are known to nest at the White Water Off-Road Vehicle Park beneath the Keystone Dam, as well as in Case Community Park and other areas along the Arkansas River.

Two of the most historic sites in Sand Springs are the Sand Springs Lake and Centennial Park on Katy Trail. Centennial Park is the home of the sandy springs from which the town draws its name, and the lake park was once a weekend swimming destination for Tulsa-area families from the 1920s through 1950s. Now it is a quaint fishing hole with ADA-friendly walking trails.

Visitors have numerous lodging options in Sand Springs, including modern downtown hotels near the historic Triangle District, riverside RV parks, cabins at the Osage Forest of Peace, and the PostOak Lodge with its zip lines, disc golf, fishing, hiking, and more.

Art connoisseurs will enjoy the Shiny Happy Blue Dog exhibit by George Rodrigue, currently making its Oklahoma debut at the Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum, and numerous vibrant murals around the town. The Rodrigue exhibit will be on display through February, and numerous other events are on the horizon, guaranteed to give visitors a great time.

Sand Springs Event Calendar:

February 3rd - Fourth Annual Ancient Trail Trek
April 13th - Thirtieth Annual Herbal Affair & Festival
May 4th-5th - 100 Mile Yard Sale
May 10th - Third Annual Unity Praise concert
May 30th - June 1st - Eighth Annual Chillin & Grillin Festival
June - 29th Annual Kids’ Free Fishing Derby
June - Eighth Annual Big Blast Fireworks Show & Kids Fun Fest
June - Tenth Annual EuroMotor Extravaganza
July 3rd - Third Annual Riverfest and Sertoma Fireworks Show
September 2nd - 24th Annual Great Raft Race
October - Ninth Annual Boo on Broadway
November through December - Snapped In Sand Springs
November - Tenth Annual 2 Angels Toy Run
November - Third Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 6th-8th - Second Annual Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration

To view the complete list of Best Places to Escape To, visit Expedia.com.

4th Annual Ancient Trail Trek to benefit Keystone Ancient Forest Visitors Center

Ancient Trail Trek Registration Open! Natural Trail Races Benefit the Keystone Ancient Forest Preserve! Sand Springs, OK - The City of Sand Springs Parks and Recreation Department and TATUR (Tulsa Area Trails and Ultra Runners) invite runners of all ages to the magnificent Keystone Ancient Forest for the 4th Annual Ancient Trail Trek! This year's event is Saturday, February 9, 2019 with gates opening at 7:00 a.m. and the first race at 8:00 a.m.

Event registration and information can be found at the City’s website at www.sandspringsok.org. Use the Explore/ Keystone Ancient Forest/ Ancient Trail Trek drop down menus to access the registration site. Registration is online only, and runners must register before the midnight deadline on February 7, 2019.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the beautiful 1,400-acre crosstimbers nature preserve, including the planned visitor center, which is currently in design.

This year's Ancient Fun Run offers a 5K, 10K and even an 8-mile run for both adults and children. The varied courses will meander over grassy trail portions, bare soil and rock. Routes will challenge runners with some downhill glides and moderate uphill challenges! Runners can glimpse wintertime views of Keystone Lake below, and might even spot area wildlife along the course!

"We’ve partnered with the TATUR group again and so we’ll have the standard electronic timing devices for accuracy and convenience for runners,” stated Jeff Edwards, Parks Director for the City of Sand Springs. "We’ve got several great courses this year and feel we have one of the best trail running venues in Oklahoma."

The race fee (including registration) is $28.00 per runner without an event T-shirt, or $40.50 per runner with an event T-shirt. Gates will open at 7:00 a.m. on the day of the race, with the first race beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Park staff and members of the Keystone Ancient Forest Trail Guide (volunteer) group will be on site to help with water and hospitality after the race. Parking is on gravel and grassy areas with porta potty service. No pets allowed.

With proceeds from this year’s race, again going towards the Keystone Ancient Forest- this year’s event can help with the planned visitor center also! The concept for the forest’s new state of the art facility will be unveiled just weeks before the race event!

City Invites Local Businesses to Join at Tulsa Home and Garden Show

Sand Springs, OK - The City of Sand Springs is announcing its plans for the 2019 Tulsa Home and Garden show. This year the City is extending an invitation to Sand Springs retail businesses to join them during the show to promote the Sand Springs community- and their business! The annual home improvement event takes place March 7-10, at the Riverspirit Expo at the Expo Square Tulsa County Fairgrounds.

For more than a decade municipalities have reached out to area citizens during the Tulsa Home and Garden Show as a means to promote their community to area citizens by providing information about quality of life, new projects, services and more. This year, the City of Sand Springs wishes to expand on that approach by including a handful of local retailers.

“We’re excited to invite our partners in the retail business sector to invest a little time with us and work alongside city staff as we promote Sand Springs,” stated Grant Gerondale, Community Development Director for the City. “Sand Springs has so many unique retail outlets, each with their own great history of successful business service and great products.”

Interested businesses can apply at no cost; however, each business will be asked to provide one or more door prizes to be given away during a raffle drawing. Door prize winners will then be asked to visit each Sand Springs retailer later to redeem their prize.

Businesses will also be asked to help staff their display portion of the booth during an assigned segment of the Tulsa Home and Garden Show. Most volunteer opportunities for each business will last approximately 4-6 hours. To apply, simply email Grant Gerondale at grant@sandspringsok.org with your request for an application! Deadline to apply is January 31, 2019.

Bright Morning Farm holds ribbon cutting in Sand Springs

Bright Morning Farm in Sand Springs held a ribbon cutting recently at their new event barn. The 3,600 square foot event center is located on a 35-acre ranch just outside of Sand Springs City limits.

Bright Morning Farm has been hosting weddings, reunions, birthday parties, and other events for years, and the event center is the newest addition to the grounds. Originally a garage, the entire facility was renovated from the inside out to offer a rustic feel with modern conveniences.

The event center officially opened this past summer, but the farm used the ribbon cutting to celebrate their joining of the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce, as well as to offer a holiday open house.

Sand Springs Parks Dept. receives State honors for Riverfest celebration

Sand Springs, OK - The City of Sand Springs Parks staff received two statewide honors during the Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society (ORPS) annual conference held in Norman, OK. Sand Springs Riverfest was cited an Award of Excellence by parks professionals in the state, one of only three such awards given out annually at the parks conference. Riverfest also earned an Award of Excellence for marketing from ORPS.

“We’re honored to represent the citizens of Sand Springs, not only in our traditional park work throughout the year, but also with the special events we create,” stated Jeff Edwards, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City. “We have a great staff who reach beyond their daily tasks to offer quality parks and recreation services in Northeast Oklahoma, and we’re very pleased to receive this honor.”

Riverfest was created by parks staff to celebrate the completion and dedication of the former River City Park into the new $6.2 million project known currently as Case Community Park. The park name change recognized Mike and Pat Case for their $2 million contribution toward Sand Springs’ largest Vision 2025 park project.

Sand Springs Riverfest took nearly a year of planning thanks to a large committee that included local businesses, school and city officials, church members, and more. The event was held in September of 2017 after raising nearly $30,000 for the park celebration.

A few highlights of the day included an appearance by Sand Springs racing legend Bennie “The Wizard” Osborn, who was the NHRA top fuel dragster world champion in 1967 and 1968. The OKC Thunder’s mascot, Rumble, made an entrance, and helped kick off a Thunder Cares new basketball court dedication and basketball camp for kids. There was an artistic Chalk-A-Thon sidewalk art-chalk contest. A few former cast members from the live outdoor production of Oklahoma performed a brief segment from the musical. The Charles Page High School marching band performed on stage before the Rogues Five took over, followed by local interactive DJ Morgan Ganem’s performance, which was choreographed with the grand finale fireworks display.

Sand Springs Riverfest was awarded state ORPS honors for its excellent use of private funds to create the event for citizens; the strong use of volunteers; utilizing creative marketing methods and offering a diverse number of activities for people during the event.

“Special events can be a struggle for any community and they can consume large amounts of resources,” stated Edwards. “The resources, funding, and commitments from local civic groups, businesses, churches and more launched Riverfest into an award winning quality event.”

For more information on the Sand Springs Parks and Recreation Department visit www.sandspringsok.org and follow them on Facebook.

ORPS was founded in 1956 to advance the parks and recreation profession and industry in Oklahoma. Annual conference attendees receive professional training, continuing education credits and more. For more information about ORPS visit: http://www.orps.us/

Sand Springs churches donate $4,000 for police and fire Christmas bonuses

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The Sand Springs Ministerial Alliance presented a $4,000 check to the City of Sand Springs at Monday night’s regular City Council meeting. The donation will be used for Christmas bonuses for City Firemen and Police Officers. HillSpring Associate Pastor Matt Barnett presented the check to Mayor Mike Burdge, Police Chief Mike Carter, and Fire Chief Mike Wood.

City Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing for the use of Municipal Reserve Funds for the advanced funding of various General Obligation Bond Projects. These accounts will be reimbursed following the bond sales.

Voters approved $12,165,000 in bond projects in November of 2017, but the City has only sold $3.5 million thus far in order to keep the millage rate under 13 mills.

In Other News:

Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the Tulsa Metro Chamber OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda for 2019. Click here to read the agenda.

Council unanimously approved a Specific Use Permit for a medical marijuana growing facility at 1106 West Wekiwa Road.

Council unanimously approved a resolution affirming dilapidation public nuisance findings against properties at 11 West 35th Street, 418 North Grant Avenue, and 108 North Roosevelt Avenue. The buildings are slated for demolition on or after January 8.

Council unanimously approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford F-250 from Bill Knight Ford for Sand Springs Animal Welfare in the amount of $28,423.

Council unanimously approved a $34,709 payment to Aaron Fence Company for the replacement of 2,400 feet of fence at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Council unanimously approved a $45,750 payment to Garrow Construction for the replacement of 3,000 feet of deteriorated Campbell Creek Road water line.

Council unanimously approved a resolution adopting an investment policy for the City of Sand Springs and the Sand Springs Municipal Authority, providing clear guidance in regards to oversight, guidelines, and limitations of investments.

During the subsequent Municipal Authority meeting, Trustees unanimously approved the Shell Lake Dam Breach Plan, Revision 13.

Morrow Road widening project to begin November 26th

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Sections of Morrow Road in Sand Springs will be partially closed for reconstruction from Monday, November 26th through March 1st.

Morrow Road from Wilson Avenue (Highway 97) west to Broad Street will be completely rebuilt this winter to facilitate the additional traffic expected from the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. Crossland Heavy Contractors was awarded a $1.4 million construction contract for the project in September.

The 0.3 mile road is currently only two lanes with no shoulder and no turn lanes. It will be widened to three lanes and 39 feet across. Most of the stretch will have a center turn lane, but will transition into a 120-foot right-turn lane onto South 97. The existing curb and gutter along the southwest side of HWY97 will be removed and rebuilt to accompany the added lane.

A five-foot-wide sidewalk will run along the south side of the road and there will be two entrances into the new public safety center parking lot. The project will also require relocating the sanitary sewer main.

The Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center, named for a Sand Springs Vietnam War hero, will house the City’s relocated municipal courts, jail, 911 operations, police, and north-side fire station, all currently located in downtown.

Construction crews broke ground on the $10.7 million, 40,000 sq. ft. facility in April of 2018, and it is expected to be completed in March, 2019.

City Council accepts bids for Case Park parking lots and Keystone Forest visitor center designs

The Sand Springs City Council approved several measures relating to City parks and other capital improvement projects at their Monday evening meeting.

Council unanimously approved a contract with Studio 45 Architects relating to the Keystone Ancient Forest. The City will pay the company $40,000 to design a small visitor center at the forest preserve. The visitor center project was approved by voters as part of a 2017 general obligation bond package. The design phase is expected to be completed by Spring of 2019 and will then go to bid for construction.

Council also voted to approve a bid from R&L Construction in the amount of $473,911.00 for a paved parking lot expansion and new sidewalk at Case Community Park. The project will pave an existing 175-spot gravel parking lot at the Jerry Adair Baseball Park, and will add a 36-space lot at the Rotary Super Splash Pad. The project will also include curbs and guttering.

Council approved a six-year Capital Improvement Plan for Pogue Municipal Airport. The City plans to invest $3,830,000 in drainage improvements and taxiway rehabilitation.

Council approved a payment of $64,045.00 to Tim Mills Fence Company for a large section of white vinyl fencing installed along the Sand Springs Expressway.

Council approved a $30,100.00 expenditure to Mills Truck & Tractor Service Inc. for a storm pipe replacement project at the intersection of 2nd Street and Lincoln Avenue. The project is expected to take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete.

Council approved the purchase of 911 Police/Fire Dispatch Consoles for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Facility in the amount of $49,166.00.

Council approved a resolution of Notice of Election for City Council Wards 1 & 2. Phil Nollan and Patty Dixon will be up for reelection in 2019. The filing period is set for December 3-5. The primary election, if needed, will be held on February 12, 2019. The general election, if needed, will be held on April 2nd.

Boulder Coffee opens in downtown Sand Springs Triangle District

Sand Springs couple Danielle and D.A. Myers celebrated the grand opening of their new coffee shop Saturday morning in the downtown Sand Springs Triangle District.

Boulder Coffee opened its doors at 8:00 a.m. and held a ribbon cutting ceremony with fellow business owners and the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The shop is located at 118 North Main Street and shares its space with the Myers’s other businesses: Myer’s Marketing and We Are Sand Springs magazine.

Boulder offers coffee, espresso-based beverages, hot and iced teas, hot chocolate, chocolate milk, muffins, and Dippin Dots. Beverages sizes range from 10 oz to 16 oz with a $1.75-$4.25 price range. They also carry vanilla, caramel, mocha, and lavender flavored syrups.

The shop has an array of furniture and invites patrons to hang out and enjoy the free wireless internet. They are open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.

City of Sand Springs unveils new state of the art Wastewater Treatment Facility

The City of Sand Springs held a grand opening and ribbon cutting at their new Wastewater Treatment Facility Wednesday morning.

The new $17.2M project was placed into service earlier this summer. The plant is capable of treating 3.1 million gallons/day (MGD) and could be expanded in the future to handle approximately 5MGD. The water facility replaces a much older site, which has since been demolished after serving citizens needs for more than 30 years. One of the primary benefits of Sand Springs’ new facility is the plant’s ability to manage a much broader array of wastewater treatment challenges faced by all municipal water managers.

“This new plant already has some capacity to handle additional gallons per day, beyond our current demand,” stated Derek Campbell, City Engineer. “We’re pleased to be able to bring this new facility online because it also provides us with a much broader ability to treat water chemistry challenges faced by our previous plant.”

With the new plant design the treatment of wastewater was changed from a rotating biological contactor (RBC) process to an activated sludge process. Updates were also made to improve the disinfection process. Additional screening and grit removal equipment were included in the facility’s design, further improving this plant from the previous one.

The overall project includes aerobic digester improvements, a disinfection system using sodium hypochlorite and sodium bisulfite, disinfection contact basins, aeration blowers, sludge dewatering improvements, backup diesel and natural gas generators as well as new administration and chemical buildings.

City Manager Elizabeth Gray says this massive project is yet another example of the public investments happening now in the Sand Springs community.

“This plant represents our City Council and staff’s strong commitment to managing our wastewater collection and treatment system and finding the economic strategies to help make projects like this happen,” stated Gray. “We’ve invested in our parks, public safety and streets. We’re pleased to say that our new plant is online and ready to serve the community for many years to come.”

“We’ve been doing the right things for a long time and we’re finally starting to see results,” said Mayor Mike Burdge. “We have a history of insightful and forward thinking people in Sand Springs.”

The design phase began in 2013 to accommodate projected growth and increased environmental regulations through the next twenty years. Walters-Morgan Construction was awarded the contract in January of 2014 with Tetra Tech as the consulting engineers.

“Water and wastewater workers are the unsung heroes of City Government,” said Gray. “It’s been thirty years since Sand Springs made such a large investment in water or wastewater.”

Sand Springs Chamber Business Incubator hopes to help small businesses thrive

Sand Springs has no shortage of retail or office space available for lease or sale. Downtown storefronts sit vacant. The 7,000 sq. ft. Shoppes of Cleveland shopping center built in 2014 has never filled up. The 15,000 sq. ft. Shops at Sand Springs built in 2017 have yet to land a tenant. Numerous other buildings around town sit empty, most notably the 84,000 sq. ft. K-Mart building on Charles Page Boulevard.

The problem? While the City has been slowly attracting big corporations to town (ie: Colton’s Steak House, Aldi Grocery Store, Starbucks, CVS, etc.) most companies with real capital want to build their own facilities. Existing vacancies are typically filled by small local businesses, and even the cheapest real estate in town can be a serious strain on an aspiring entrepreneur.

The Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Sand Springs, is looking to kill two birds with one stone by providing low-cost office space to upstart organizations. The goal is for those businesses to build a customer base and reliable income stream so they can eventually expand into the vacant real estate around town.

Business Incubators not only offer cheap office space, but come with many other perks as well. The Oklahoma Small Business Incubators Incentives Act exempts tenants of certified incubators from state tax liability on income earned as a result of occupancy for up to ten years.

The Sand Springs Chamber incubator will also provide co-working space, conference rooms, electronic equipment such as printers, scanners, and a fax machine, and more. There are currently twelve rooms up for lease. The largest conference room seats as many as sixteen individuals comfortably. There will even be day-passes available for individuals to come use the technology center from their laptop.

The Chamber recently acquired their new building at 109 North Garfield Avenue from the City of Sand Springs with a $1.00/year lease agreement. The facility was formerly the home of the City’s Public Works Department and currently has 2,100 sq. ft. of rentable space.

“The City has been phenomenal to work with on this,” says Cepak. “(Community Development Director) Grant Gerondale has been amazing, that man has amazing ideas.”

Mile High Designs in Sand Springs recently installed new flooring through the whole building and most of it has received fresh paint and updated fixtures.

According to Chamber President Kristin Cepak, the Chamber has received approximately $6,000 worth of in-kind community donations so far, and 85% of the updates and improvements have been made by Sand Springs businesses. Organizations such as Webco and BancFirst are branding the building and providing free office supplies and other resources for the tenants.

The Chamber has yet to release pricing for the rental spaces. For more information on the incubator or other Chamber resources, contact Cepak at 918-245-3221 or visit their website at https://sandspringschamber.com/.

Atwoods Ranch & Home celebrates Grand Re-Opening of expanded Sand Springs location

Atwoods Ranch & Home held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning to commemorate an extensive remodel and expansion at their Sand Springs location.

The store never closed during the six month expansion, but they were without signage for several months and significant portions of the parking lot were closed for construction.

The store expanded from 50,000 square feet to more than 82,000, adding a larger selection of food, gifts, clothing, feed, pet supplies, and more. They also carry steel tanks for the first time.

Atwoods Sand Springs is located at 730 East Charles Page Boulevard and can be reached at 918-241-1700.

Sand Springs City Council passes Morrow Road widening project

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The Sand Springs City Council unanimously approved a resolution to begin the Morrow Road Widening Project at their Monday evening regular meeting.

Council awarded the $1.407 million bid to Crossland Heavy Contractors. The existing two-lane asphalt section of Morrow Road between Highway 97 and Broad Street will be completely removed, the sanitary sewer main will be relocated, and a new three-lane road will be constructed with a central turn lane. The City hopes to have the project completed in time for the opening of the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center in the Spring of 2019.

The new public safety facility is under construction in the 400 block of West Morrow Road in the Sheffield Crossing development. It will be approximately 40,000 square feet and will house Police, Fire, Municipal Court, Jail, Emergency Operations Center and 911 Communications operations. 

Council also approved a contract with GH2 Architects for the remodel design and conceptual master planning of the current Sand Springs Municipal Building in the downtown Triangle District, and for construction oversight of the project. The Municipal Building will continue to house administrative, financial, human resources, marketing, planing and zoning, and other departments.

In Other News:

Council unanimously voted in favor of an honorary street naming in recognition of Webco Industries founder, William Weber. Webco is the largest employer in Sand Springs.

Council unanimously approved the installation of tower grounding and antenna systems for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. Total Radio Inc. will execute the project for $34,644.

Council unanimously voted to purchase a 2017 Peterbilt 348 Series dump truck in the amount of $117,000.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending licensing requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages.

Council unanimously approved the use of the 2018 Community Development Block Grant for a project in Ray Brown Park. The $94,748.11 grant will be used for a paved walking trail through the park from 10th Street to 6th Street, as well as a swing set and ADA-accessible playground equipment.

Sand Springs Fire Department unveils new state of the art facility in Prattville

The City of Sand Springs held a grand opening ceremony for their new Fire Station 2 facility Saturday afternoon in Prattville. The station is located at 4347 South 113th Avenue West.

HillSpring Church Pastor Brent Kellogg provided a blessing for the building and several key government officials attended and spoke at the ceremony.

The building replaced an older facility on the same location. The previous building was a sort of Frankenstein’s Monster, having been remodeled and expanded several times over the decades. The roof leaked, the quarters were small, there was only one communal bathroom, and the fire trucks couldn’t even get in and out anytime there was snow on the ground. The project was funded by an October 2015 sales tax initiative.

“It’s just a building at the end of the day, but it represents one heck of a fire department,” said former International Association of Fire Chiefs President Thomas Jenkins, who headed the Sand Springs department before current Chief Mike Wood.

“The building behind me is probably the most significant investment in public safety in this community in about three decades,” said Jenkins. It will only hold that honor for a few months, however, as the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center is currently under construction north of the river. That building will house the City’s police and fire departments, as well as municipal courts.

According to Wood, the $1.66 million facility was completed $22,000 under budget. The building is only 640 square feet bigger than the old facility, but the layout is purpose-built and single story.

HillSpring Church paints downtown storefront to help attract new businesses

HillSpring Church slapped a fresh coat of paint on the downtown Sand Springs Triangle District early Tuesday morning, helping the City clean up one of the first buildings you see when entering downtown on North Main Street.

The City of Sand Springs received a “Fresh Paint Days” grant from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, with the stipulation that they use volunteers for the painting and not City employees. H.I.S. Paint donated materials, and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality donated cash stipends to the program.

The City reached out to HillSpring Church, who frequently assists with Community Serve Days and other City events. A team of about a half dozen volunteers spruced up the building with the goal of attracting a new business into the vacant storefront.

According to Tulsa County Assessor records, the 107 North Main Street building was built in 1920 and is 3,500 square feet. It is currently owned by Frank and Catherine Suraci and managed by Bauer & Associates. Anyone interested in renting the facility can contact 918-665-1210 or visit www.bauertulsa.com.

Catherine Adkins-Suraci curated Gallery 107 art studio from 2003-2005. Their exhibits drew visitors from across the country, with the most notable being work from the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Frank “Skip” Suraci operated his law office out of the building for many years.

The building’s most recent tenant was The Parlour Hair and Ink. They opened in 2009 as MainStream Tattoo and Body Piercing and moved to 100 North Garfield in 2016. It has also housed Eagle Eye Collectibles and Antiques and I Believe in Yesteryears antique shop in recent decades.

HillSpring meets on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. at 8801 West 41st Street South.

City of Sand Springs to host Fire Station Grand Opening Saturday

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Sand Springs, OK - The City of Sand Springs Fire Department will host a Grand Opening celebration of the newly constructed Fire Station No. 2 on Saturday, September 22. This event will take place at 4201 South 113th W. Avenue in Sand Springs, beginning with a presentation and speakers at 12 noon followed by a ribbon cutting at approximately 12:45 p.m. Members of the media and the general public are invited to attend.

Following those ceremonies, the public is invited to enjoy tours of the new fire station, FREE hot dogs and children’s activities (including inflatables) at the station until 4 p.m. Fire Chief Mike Wood and his staff are excited to share this state of the art public facility and invites families to meet their neighborhood firefighter.

“We’re looking forward to meeting some of the citizens of Sand Springs again to not only share with them our appreciation for their support of this new facility, but to also offer tours of the station and meet some of our firefighters,” stated Chief Wood.

The new facility was funded through a Sand Springs Public Safety Tax, which dedicates funding support for facilities such as the new fire station but also for critical equipment for both police and fire. With public improvements such at this, the City continues to demonstrate its commitment to investing in the community and improving public safety.

“Fire stations like these only come along once every few decades for any community”, stated City Manager Elizabeth Gray, “and we are eager to show the citizens the results of their support and the well thought out professional design and construction that went into this new facility. We’re pleased to show them the added safety value for surrounding neighborhoods and the larger Sand Springs community.”

Sand Springs Fire Department staff moved into the facility on July 23 and began operations there immediately. The older station was demolished shortly afterwards.

Sand Springs City Council approves new parking lots for Case Park

The Sand Springs City Council approved a new parking lot plan for Case Community Park at their regular monthly meeting.

The design, by Studio 45 Architects, provides for approximately 211 paved parking spaces in two locations, as well as curbs, guttering, and sidewalks. About 175 spots will be paved at the Jerry Adair Baseball Park, which is currently gravel.

An additional 36-space lot will be constructed at the Rotary Super Splash Pad, replacing an existing dirt parking area. A vehicular bridge was constructed over the creek during a recent park renovation, but funding didn’t allow for the completion of the project and the bridge was blocked off for pedestrian use only. The existing dirt parking area can’t be paved without the construction of an extensive retention wall.

Council approved the closure of a sixteen-foot wide alley between West 8th Street and West 7th Street and North Franklin Avenue and North Industrial Avenue. The applicant claims to currently be the only abutting land owner maintaining his share of the right-of-way, and has had to maintain the entirety of the alley. He hopes to take his case to District Court and receive ownership of the undeveloped alley so he can fence it in.

One abutting property owner objected due to her use of the alley for backyard access. Her backyard is tiered with a retention wall preventing riding lawnmower access to much of her land. City Staff recommended closing the alley while the City Planning Commission recommended maintaining it. Councilors Jim Spoon and Phil Nollan voted against the closure, while Beau Wilson, Patty Dixon, and Brian Jackson voted in favor. The closure only forfeits the City’s claim to the alley, and District Court will have the final say on whether to grant the land to the applicant or not.

William “Tom” Meshek was recognized with a Mayoral Proclamation for his fifteen years of volunteer service on the Sand Springs Development Authority.

William “Tom” Meshek was recognized with a Mayoral Proclamation for his fifteen years of volunteer service on the Sand Springs Development Authority.

Council approved a $30,673.00 expenditure for the purchase of a new ladder truck for the City Fire Department.

Council passed a resolution bringing the City codes in line with the recently passed State Question 783, legalizing the sale of refrigerated wine and beer at retail liquor stores.

Council approved a resolution eliminating language from Code of Ordinances Chapter 9.36 that will qualify the City for up to $20,000 in federal grants. The language does not change the intent or execution of the ban on tobacco or vapor on City property.

William “Tom” Meshek was recognized with a Mayoral Proclamation for his fifteen years of volunteer service on the Sand Springs Development Authority.

Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce to participate in community revitalization project

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55 community structures across Oklahoma have been chosen to participate in Fresh Paint Days. This Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) program is designed to encourage volunteers to seek out community structures and renovate them with the creative use of resources. This year, Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce was chosen as one of the participating groups.

Fresh Paint Days is a program founded on the collaboration between H-I-S Paint and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. KOB, with the help of sponsors, provides the paint and a stipend for supplies; selected communities supply the volunteers and elbow grease. This program has helped to revitalize communities across Oklahoma with a fresh coat of paint.

“This building is in a rather blighted area of Sand Springs and we are hoping the remodel of this building will bring back this portion of town,” said Kristen Cepak, of Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce.

H-I-S Paint and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful started the Fresh Paint Days program in 2005.

“HIS Paint is thrilled with the transformations that are being made within each of the communities participating in the Fresh Paint Days in Oklahoma initiative. It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint can help to transform an entire community,” said Joe Cox, founder and CEO of H-I-S Paint.

Amelia Schoenhals, the projects coordinator for KOB, works with potential participants throughout the application process.

“I am honored to be able to assist communities in renewing their pride for the town they have built a life in,” Schoenhals said. “The participants of Fresh Paint Days truly exemplify how Oklahomans can make a change by working together, asking for help and applying a vision for the future of their community.”

When the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) began to support the program, KOB was able to offer participating groups a cash stipend to purchase supplies and make the program entirely cost-effective for participating groups.

“Public Service Company of Oklahoma is pleased to continue its support of Fresh Paint Days, and of the individuals and organizations who work hard to make their communities great places to live and work,” said James A. Evers, with State Governmental & Environmental Affairs for PSO.

CL Boyd, an Oklahoma equipment company, is providing three pressure washers to the recipients of their equipment grant.

The group will have 30 days to complete their projects using donated paint from H.I.S Paint of Oklahoma City and a stipend from Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce will be one of 43 groups competing for the “Best Visual Impact Award” through the, ‘Communities Primed for Change’ online contest. Finalists will be chosen based upon their ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. Winners will be announced at the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful 28th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration on November 30, 2018.

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is a statewide nonprofit with a mission to empower Oklahoma citizens to preserve and enhance the state’s natural beauty and ensure a healthy, sustainable environment.

For more information about KOB, Fresh Paint Days, and the sponsors of this program visit: www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com