The Edmond Sun

Breaking News

October 11, 2011

Voters say yes to Public Safety Center

EDMOND — After years of public discussion and debate, Edmond voters overwhelmingly approved a half-cent sales tax Tuesday to build a $25.5 million Public Safety Center.

“Yeah, we were able to get it done!” said former mayor Patrice Douglas, now a corporation commissioner. Supporters of the safety center ballot initiative formed a watch party Tuesday evening at the Kivlehen House on North Jackson.

“It’s just a wonderful tribute to the men and women of the Edmond Police Department — the confidence that voters have placed in them — realizing that even in these tough economic times, they were willing to put a tax upon themselves to put a new facility for our officers,” Police Chief Bob Ricks said.

A public safety center will be designed to combine the Edmond Police Department with Central Communications and Emergency Management into a new 75,000-square-foot building.

With all 31 precincts reporting, 3,339 voters, or 73.07 percent, approved Proposition No. 1, which enacts the five-year half-cent sales tax. There were 1,452 votes, or 26.93 percent, against the proposition, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.

Edmond’s sales tax will remain lower than the sales tax rates of neighboring communities by increasing to a rate of 8.25 percent. The half-cent sales tax will have a sunset provision, according to the ballot.

Voters also approved Proposition No. 2 to allow the city to loan itself money out of the $7.2 million Hospital Trust Fund with an improved return of investment on that trust fund. The yes votes totaled 4,105, or 76.86 percent in favor, with 1,236 no votes, or 23.14 percent of the vote.

Edmond voters in 2008 rejected a property tax city leaders sought to pay for what was then proposed as a $31.5 million Public Safety Center facility. At that time, they voted 24,121 against the property tax, with 15,268 voters in favor, which was also the same day as the presidential general election.

The City Council listened to what Edmond residents told them during the 2008 vote, said David Miller, city councilman.

“We came back and fixed it. Now we just need to prove ourselves and do what we said we were going to do,” Miller said. “… I can’t wait to get started.”

Miller will travel to Chicago with Assistant Police Chief Steve Thompson for a seminar on designing a public safety center.

“It’s a long time waiting for an opportunity to meet a gaping hole in how we do business. As you can see I have a big smile on my face right now,” said Matt Stillwell, director of Central Communications and Emergency Management.

City Councilman Charles Lamb said he looks forward to the challenge of moving forward with the project. This will involve working with an architect to select the best downtown location on city-owned property.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner said she would like to see the council move quickly with hiring an architect so that construction can move forward as soon as possible.

“Interested bidders would need to be ready to go and step up and give it their best,” Waner said.

Former Mayor Saundra Naifeh said the wide margin of yes votes meant that Edmond residents realize how important the safety center is to the future of the community.

“I think, ‘What a great day for Edmond,’” Naifeh said. “We are not only going to be top in the nation as a suburb, we’re the safest and we’re staying that way.”

City Manager Larry Stevens said the city staff appreciates and will validate the trust voters have in their community.

“I think people trust us to do the right thing,” Stevens said.

Miller said the construction of the Public Safety Center also will be a psychological boost for the Edmond economy.

“Anytime you see construction going on, that makes everyone think you’re doing well,” Miller said. “My dad used to say, ‘If you go to a city and you see cranes in the air, you know the economy is good.’”

Tuesday was a winning night for Edmond, said Ken Moore, president and CEO of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a needed facility for police, for communications, for emergency management,” Moore said. | 341-2121, ext. 114

Text Only
Breaking News
  • ME rules in Edmond murder-suicide case

    A medical examiner’s office spokesman has released the formal findings in the murder-suicide discovered Monday in an Oak Tree-area home.

    July 16, 2014

  • Police ID residents found in upscale Edmond home

    Authorities have identified the two residents in an apparent murder-suicide discovered Monday in an Oak Tree-area home.
    Tuesday afternoon, Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe identified Kenneth Frame, 55, and Pamela Frame, 64, as the residents discovered in the home at 5509 Fairway Drive in the Highlands addition, located near the Oak Tree Country Club golf course.
    “There is no other new information the case as of this afternoon,” Monroe said.

    July 15, 2014

  • crime scene 1.jpg UPDATE: Police find murder-suicide at Oak Tree area home

    UPDATE as of 5:06 p.m.: Edmond Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide Monday at an upscale Oak Tree area home, a police spokeswoman said.
    Police have not released the names of the two victims found inside the home at 5509 Fairway Drive in the Highlands addition. At about 8:30 a.m. Monday, the Edmond Police Department received a call for a welfare check at the address, spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said.

    July 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • OHP: S.H. 74 reopens

    State Highway 74 between Industrial Road and Prairie Grove Road in Logan County has been shut down due to smoke blowing across the roaddway, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. It was closed at 2:12 p.m.

    May 5, 2014

  • fire 2.JPG Logan Co. residents protect property from massive wildfire

    Paul Barber and Tabitha Diamond were on their way home from the Rose Rock Music Festival in Noble when they saw smoke fearfully near their home.
    They live near the East Camp Drive-North Midwest Boulevard intersection in Logan County, dangerously close to the smoke plume blowing from south to north. The closer they got the more they were worried.

    May 4, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildfire continues to threaten Logan County homes

    A wildfire continues to ravage the east side of Interstate 35 from Seward Road on west into Logan County. Multiple homes have either succumbed to fire or are in danger at this time. Fire crews from Guthrie, Edmond, Oak Cliff and other agencies are responding to the several hundred-acre blaze as homeowners continue to evacuate from the area.

    May 4, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police make 2 arrests in Edmond home assault

    Police are hunting for two suspects wanted in a home assault in Edmond, a search that involved a partial lockdown at an Oklahoma City school Friday morning, sources said.
    Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said officers from Edmond were working a manhunt for the suspects in Oklahoma City.

    April 11, 2014

  • assault 2.jpg Police search for suspects in home assault

    Officers are looking for several armed suspects wanted for questioning in an incident involving the assault of two residents, police said.
    Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday residents in a condominium located near the Edmond Road-Kelly intersection on Dustin Drive awoke to find a family member and several unknown males in the house.
    One of the suspects grabbed a rifle and held a female resident at gunpoint and the male resident was physically assaulted, Monroe said. Several cell phones and a gun are believed to have been stolen from the home, Monroe said.
    Monroe said officers were looking for the suspects and developing description information. | 341-2121, ext. 108

    April 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Injuries reported after shooting at Fort Hood in Texas

    A military representative has confirmed that there was a shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, today.
    The Bell County Sheriff’s Office told the Los Angeles Times that there were injuries on the scene. The number of casualties is not known.
    A Twitter message from the base advised all personnel to shelter in place.
    Family members gathered near the main gate of the sprawling military base as a stream of police cars approached. Service members throughout the base were not permitted to leave their offices and quarters, and those outdoors were immediately ushered inside.

    April 2, 2014

  • investigator tackle box.jpg FBI searches for IBC bank robbery suspects

    A bank robbery took place at about 2:30 p.m. at the IBC Bank, 1812 E. 15th Street, according to James E. Finch, Special Agent in Charge of the Oklahoma City Division of the FBI.
    The Edmond Police Department is assisting in the investigation.
    No one was injured during the bank robbery. The subjects were last seen fleeing the bank, heading east on East 15th Street.

    March 28, 2014 6 Photos