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
  • 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

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • UCO campus 3.jpg University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment

    The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.          
    Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council approves funds toward ADA update

    City Council members have approved a $398,800 professional services contract with Accessology, a McKinney, Texas, firm, to establish an Americans With Disabilities Act transition plan for the city.
    Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to make their programs and services accessible to persons with disabilities. It includes access to government facilities, programs and events and relevant policy changes.
    Accessology was selected out of a pool of five finalists by a five-member committee to create Edmond’s plan. The firm will partner with Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm located in North Carolina.
    Edmond’s last ADA transition plan was created in 1992.

    July 21, 2014

  • Panel approves jail services agreement

    City Council members have approved renewal of the city’s jail services agreement with Oklahoma County for prisoners incarcerated at the county jail on city charges.
    The current annual agreement expired June 30. It provides the feeding, care, housing and upkeep of said prisoners. Edmond uses the county jail when the city jail is at capacity.
    The sheriff’s office proposed a slight increase from $46.25 to a $46.50 daily rate per prisoner. City staff said the current agreement is working satisfactorily and believe the proposed rate is reasonable. The new agreement took effect July 1. The city can hold prisoners in its current jail  up to 10 days; a new jail with 10 male and five female cells will be available inside the new Public Safety Center next year when the facility opens.

    July 21, 2014

  • Panel establishes 911 phone rate

    City Council members have established the rate for the 911 emergency phone service fee for calendar year 2015
    Council members set the rate at 3 percent of the recurring charges as designated by the tariff for exchange telephone service or its equivalent within Edmond beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
    Fees collected by wireless and voice over Internet protocol companies are established under a separate statute. To continue collection of the locally authorized service fee on landline phone bills, local governments must approve a resolution on an annual basis to set the actual fee.
    Governments must also through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments notify the appropriate incumbent local exchange carrier and competitive local exchange carrier phone companies by Sept. 1, 2015.
    ACOG recommended for calendar year 2015 to maintain service fees at their current level of 3 percent.

    July 21, 2014

  • Council approves $2.5M extra for utility

    City Council members have approved the transfer of a $2.5 million appropriation for Edmond Electric.
    The action was needed due to higher natural gas prices. Those increased prices caused wholesale electric purchase costs to exceed the department’s budget estimates for Fiscal Year 2013-14. To cover the increased costs, a transfer of funds from the “Transfers” category to the “Other Services and Charges” category was necessary.
    It will maintain state law requirements and not increase Edmond Electric’s budget.
    The action occurred during Monday’s meeting and was approved unanimously.

    July 21, 2014

  • The Escape Edmond entrepreneurs sleuth their way to success led Andrew Gipson to an industrial complex outside of Dublin, Ireland, about a year ago. The recent University of Central Oklahoma graduate was in the midst of an extended stay in Australia and the United Kingdom when he walked through the doors of XIT Live Escape Adventure Game. According to Tripdadvisor, it was the top attraction in Ireland. He had to go.
    An hour later, Gipson, 24, exited the facility inspired.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • McAlister’s Deli sets ‘Free Tea Day’ for July 24

    McAlister’s Deli, a leading fast casual restaurant, will celebrate its sixth annual Free Tea Day on July 24.

    July 19, 2014

  • Steffen and Farrow Steffen and Farrow celebrates 40th anniversary

    Steffen and Farrow Orthodontics recently had a ribbon cutting at its Edmond location, 1601 S. Boulevard, to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo