The Edmond Sun

Business

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.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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