The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, November 8, 2021. Vice-Mayor Paul Taylor called the meeting to order, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. Commissioner Bodick and Commissioner Chapman were present. Mayor Nicholson and Commissioner Scott were absent.
Ceremonies and Proclamations
Under Ceremonies and Proclamations, the Character Trait of Respect was presented for the month of November.
Under the Consent Agenda, the City Commission approved the minutes of the Ponca City Board of Commissioners regular session held October 25, 2021 and the work session held November 1, 2021; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City; a resolution amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2021-22; authorizing the City Clerk to advertise for bids for a street improvement project on South Avenue, from 14th Street east to the city limits and on Mockingbird Drive, from Pecan Road to 470 feet east; and authorizing the Mayor to sign a collective bargaining agreement between the City of Ponca City and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 2479, for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
City Manager’s Report
Under the City Manager’s Report, City Manager Craig Stephenson echoed the City Commissioners comments regarding the large number of participants and citizens that turned out to support our veterans at the Veteran’s Day Parade, and thanked all of the veterans and service men and women for their sacrifices and dedicated service to our country.
Stephenson reported that the Parks and Recreation Department will begin the demolition and new construction of the Lake Ponca Campground bathrooms and shower facility on November 16, 2021. During construction, the Lake Ponca Campground will be closed. The Lake Ponca Campground and new bathroom and shower facility is expected to be open on or around March 1, 2022.
Stephenson also reminded the public that COVID-19 vaccines are available for no charge at the Kay County Health Department and many other locations in Ponca City.
Stephenson reminded the public of several upcoming holiday events including the Holiday Craft Fair to be held at the RecPlex on Saturday, November 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; the Moonlight Turkey Trot to be held on Tuesday, November 23, at 7:00 p.m. beginning at the Lake Ponca Shelter House; the Festival of Angels Christmas Light Display to be held November 24 thru December 30 at Cann Memorial Gardens, Marland’s Grand Home, Pioneer Woman Statue, and Lake Ponca Park; and Ponca City’s Annual Lighted Christmas Parade to be held on Friday, December 3 on Grand Avenue.
Stephenson concluded his comments by noting that the City of Ponca City will continue to stay apprised of the federal infrastructure bill that recently passed in regards to available funding for municipal projects, such as the development of a Santa Fe intermodal hub in downtown Ponca City.
The City Commission conducted a public hearing and approved an ordinance zoning real property located east of the 3800-3900 block of North 14th Street, from R-1 Single Family Residential to C-2 General Commercial, directed the Development Services Director to change the official zoning map of the City accordingly, and directed the City Clerk to file of record. This is an undeveloped parcel of land located east of the 3800-3900 block of North 14th Street, where the arterial street transitions into a divided highway. The highway corridor north of the Bob Hurley auto dealership to Hubbard Road remains undeveloped at this time, but there has always been the potential for development to occur.
The applicant, a nearby auto dealer as well, has purchased a 6-acre tract along the highway and also a substantial amount of property to the east, with the intention being to create a residential subdivision. A portion of the highway frontage would be utilized for a detail shop and photo booth. Plans are to locate an entrance off the highway and later construct a frontage road to accommodate further commercial development. The property is identified in the City’s Master Plan as suitable for future commercial growth, but the reality is, there is no public sewer in this area of the City and the “lay of the land” will not permit the extension of a gravity sewer system without constructing a lift station. Therefore, any development will be low intensity commercial and any residential development will be very low density as well. The current zoning pattern along this highway corridor is exclusively commercial, but the undeveloped portions along both sides north to Hubbard Road remain zoned as residential. The existing land use pattern closely follows the established zoning pattern.
General Election for the Office of Mayor
Under New Business, the City Commission approved a resolution setting a date for a general municipal election for the Office of Mayor, setting the filing period, stating the term of office, specifying qualification for the office in accordance with the City Charter and that the office will be filled by voting at large and authorizing the Mayor to sign a proclamation calling for an election.
ARPA Project Funding
The City Commission also approved a resolution outlining the expenditure of year one Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for Non-Entitlement Units of Government (American Rescue Plan Act/ARPA Funds) in the amount of $2,021,000.00. The City Commission received a presentation at their Work Session held on November 1, 2021 and discussed staff’s proposal for the year one expenditure of ARPA funds in the amount of $2,021,000.00. The City of Ponca City is eligible for Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds as outlined in Department of Treasury 31 CFR Part 35. On March 11, 2021, ARPA was signed into law by the President. Section 9901 of ARPA amended Title VI of the Social Act and added Section 602, which establishes the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and Section 603, which establishes the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (together, the Fiscal Recovery Funds.)
The Fiscal Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to State, Local and Tribal Governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 and in their efforts to contain COVID-19 in their communities, residents and businesses. These fiscal recovery funds build on and expand the support provided to the governments over the last year, including through the Coronavirus Relief Funds. Statutory eligible uses include: (1) To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts; (2) to respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to such eligible worker; (3) for the provision of government services, to the extent of the reduction in revenue of such recipient due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year; and (4) to make necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure. The ARPA funds are intended to provide “economic stimulus” in areas still recovering from the economic effects of the pandemic.
The City of Ponca City is considered a “Non-Entitlement Unit of Local Government” (populations less than 50,000.) The City’s ARPA funding flowed through the State of Oklahoma from the U.S. Treasury. At this time the City has received its first payment in the amount of $2,066,172.42. There will be a second payment next year in an equal amount. The total amount the City is scheduled to receive is $4,132,344. Individual programs for year one funding total $2,021,000 and include: Ponca City Small Business Assistance Grant Program $250,000.00, Ponca City Non-profit Assistance Grant Program $280,000.00, Ponca City Special Services Housing Grant Program $300,000.00, University Center Server Upgrades $20,000.00, 101 Rodeo Arena Revitalization/Bleacher Replacement $850,000.00 and Employee Public Health Remuneration/Premium Pay $321,000.00.
Water Line Improvement Project
Also, the City Commission approved the award of the project and execution of the contract documents to Sober Brothers, Inc. for Water Line Improvement Project, Hartford Avenue – Fifth Street To Seventh Street, in the amount of $279,176.12. This project is for the replacement of a deteriorated 10-inch water main under the south side of Hartford Avenue from the east side of Fifth Street to the east side of Seventh Street. There have been several breaks and repairs of this water line over the past couple of years. The line has deteriorated to the point that it must be replaced with a new 10-inch line. The improvements scheduled will include 877 linear feet of new 10-inch water line including new valves and appurtenances. The project will also require the removal and replacement of approximately 1,194 square yards of concrete pavement involving the closure of the eastbound lanes of Hartford Avenue from Fifth Street to Seventh Street.
Advertisement for this project began on October 7, 2021. A pre-bid meeting was held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 with four contractors attending. The bid opening was held on Thursday, October 28, 2021. Three bids were opened and read. Staff recommended awarding the lowest most responsible bid from Sober Brothers, Inc. in the total amount of $279,176.12. The water line portion of the project totals $129,349.00 and will be funded through the Water System Capital Outlay Fund. The street repair portion totals $149,827.12 and will be funded by the City Street Sales Tax Capital fund. In the bid tabulation, under roadway pay items, mobilization for $6,000.00, will be divided equally between the Water System Capital Outlay Fund and the City Street Sales Tax Capital Fund. Contractor construction staking for $2,000.00 will be paid entirely by the Water System Capital Outlay Fund. This project combines street repairs and improvements with water line repairs into one project. As such, the street repairs and improvements will be paid by Street Sales Tax and must be considered and approved by the Board of Commissioners, while the water line repairs will be paid from the Water fund and must be considered and approved by the PCUA Trustees.
PCUA (PONCA CITY UTILITY AUTHORITY)
PCUA Consent Agenda
Under the PCUA Consent Agenda, the PCUA Trustees approved the minutes of the Ponca City Utility Authority regular session held October 25, 2021; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the Ponca City Utility Authority; and the award of the project and execution of the contract documents to Sober Brothers, Inc. for Water Line Improvement Project, Hartford Avenue from Fifth Street to Seventh Street, in the amount of $279,176.12.