The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 16, 2013

City of Enid holds money for absent Sunoco invoice

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid city commissioners opted against canceling a payment once owed to Sunoco by pulling it from consideration on the agenda Tuesday night.

City officials were prepared to reabsorb almost $100,000 set aside to pay back Sunoco for moving a pipeline to make way for road repairs. Sunoco apparently never sent an invoice, and city staff took steps to remove the encumbrance off the books.

Those steps included holding the funds past the end of the fiscal year and publishing notices in the newspaper.

During an informal study session before Tuesday’s regular meeting of the commission, Mayor Bill Shewey questioned why the agenda item was being presented.

“I think it’s one of the worst precedents in the world we can do at the city of Enid,” he said. “Sunoco is a good corporate citizen. They have pipelines all over the county. To me, it’s a communication problem.”

City officials will contact Sunoco in an attempt to bring the matter to a close.

Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said he supported removing the encumbrance cancellation from the agenda, suggesting the estimated $98,356.82 in construction costs borne by Sunoco could have ended up only being a fraction of that amount. The company, he said, could have just declined to send a bill.

“I can’t imagine it just slipped their memory,” Vanhooser said.