The Edmond Sun


April 15, 2014

City likely to borrow less for PSC due to sky-high tax revenue

EDMOND — During his State of the City Address Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb made a political announcement — he’s planning on running again for the office.

Lamb made the comments in the question-and-answer session of his presentation during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Golf Course, 17031 N. May Ave.

Mayor pro tem from 2005-2011, Lamb was elected mayor last year. His long record of service in Edmond includes serving on the City Council from 1993 to 2011.

The question about if he will run again came from the audience. Lamb alluded to his desire to be around when the Public Safety Center is finished, which will be in the fall of 2015; the next mayoral election will be in the spring of 2015.

“Yes,” Lamb said. “The answer is yes.”

Regarding the state of the city, Lamb said Edmond is benefiting from increased local revenue, good communication avenues with businesses, attractive schools, hospitals and sites related to physical fitness.

Growth in the city has put a strain on a lot of businesses. For the past six months or so leaders have been holding periodic workshops to address issues of concern to the business community, Lamb said.

Issues include topics such as water and sewer fees, Edmond Electric cost of service and needed changes in solid waste, Lamb said.

“So growth is a good thing, but it’s a challenging thing,” the mayor said. “And it comes with a price tag. And we’re addressing those things periodically.”

Regarding the Public Safety Center, Lamb said higher than planned sales tax receipts mean Edmond may have to borrow less toward the construction of the Public Safety Center.

Lamb said officials are excited about progress on the project, which includes pouring the second-floor foundation and working on supports for the third floor; the roof is scheduled to be on by June. After that exterior brick work and interior work will continue.

Lamb said due to continuing higher than expected tax receipts mean the city is ahead financially on the project. Lamb said as of Monday night, the city was 15.4 percent above the 6 percent projected for the year.

“We’re in pretty healthy shape,” he said.

Funding for the new facility is provided through a half-cent sales tax over a five-year period approved by Edmond voters in October 2011.

City spokesman Casey Moore said planners budgeted to collect $7,375,196 from the PSC sales tax during the July 2013-June 2014 fiscal year. Moore said planners are now projecting the year will finish at $7,844,697.

Estimated totals for the construction are $25.6 million for the downtown facility, $3.1 million for the Police Support Ancillary facility and $3.5 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment. The downtown facility will house the Edmond Police Department, Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management functions.

Moore said Timberlake Construction is working feverishly to ensure things are completed at or before the scheduled completion date of Sept. 7, 2015. Lamb said when completed the facility will be a dramatic, positive change for downtown Edmond.

Lamb touched on other current happenings. They included:

• The 155,000-square-foot Summit Sports Complex. Lamb said he believes it will add significantly to the city’s sports-based visitors. Lamb said a lot of Edmond parents are talking about the facility, which will be the only one of its kind in the state.

• Regarding the roughly 3-mile-long Arcadia Lake Trail, which will connect the west side of Interstate 35 to the east side, it is expected to be ready for use  in the fall of 2014, Lamb said.

• Lamb praised the collaboration with Turning Point Ministries, which is working on Heritage Village, located off of Fretz on the west side of the railroad tracks. The city is contributing up to $500,000 on the infrastructure related to the addition. Turning Point helps eligible Edmond residents become homeowners. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Lambrecht Construction to build office

    The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
    Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917  E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

    July 29, 2014

  • jc_ITS map.jpg More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists

    The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the  installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
    ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • sales tax holiday.jpg Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday

    Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
    Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karan & Rwanda.jpg Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs

    Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
    Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Properties continues to grow

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties recently announced the acquisition of Tulsa-based Prudential Alliance Realty, an eight-office, 150-agent brokerage operating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and Edmond.
    The transaction gives Anderson Properties, a full-service real estate agency a total of 38 offices and more than 600 agents.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one

    Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
    Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
    In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.

    July 26, 2014

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • Planning Commission approves rezoning

    The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district.  Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
    “They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”

    July 25, 2014

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014