The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

December 3, 2012

City commission to vote on election date, parks plan proposals

ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commissioners will discuss and vote today on a proposal to set a preferred election date in February and the propositions to be considered for the city parks and recreation plan.

Item 8.3 states the plan from architectural firm Howell and Vancuren provides a park inventory, options for expansion of existing parks and the development of a new centralized recreation facility.

Two funding options have been proposed: a general obligation bond of 20 years and a sales tax increase for five years. Collectively, those would generate an estimated $50 million that can be directed to whatever final park and recreation plan the commission determines.

The city agenda states the decision to authorize bonds is timely and reflects the expiration of the earlier bridge general obligation bonds, which expire March 2013. Extending that will generate seven mils of debt over the life of the bond.

The proposal to be discussed includes the date and amounts of the bond initiatives. Details of those considerations will be provided by bond counsel, Allan Brooks of Public Finance Group, Oklahoma City.

City Manager Eric Benson and supporters of the issue believe if the election is successful, the bonds can continue, rather than having an election later after they have expired and having to raise them.

The 10-year, $50 million parks plan, as presented, divides work into three phases.

The first phase will take about five years and will include community parks Government Springs South, Meadowlake, Crosslin, a new park at 30th and Randolph, Enid Soccer Complex, Government Springs North, Kellet and a new central park. The central park could be established in the green space south of the Enid Event Center.

The first phase also includes neighborhood parks AMBUCS, Champion, Champlin, Champlin Pool, Don Haskins, Glenwood, Hoover, Lions, Phillips Southern Heights and a new northwest park.

Phase two would include community parks Government Springs South, Crosslin, the new community park at 30th and Randolph and Government Springs Park. Neighborhood parks in the second phase would be Champlin Pool, Don Haskins, Glenwood, a new northeast park, Frisco, La Mesa, Meadows, Monsees, skate park and Weldon.

Phase three would include the new community park on 30th, neighborhood parks Oakwood, Champlin Pool and the water plant lake, and the north leg of the north connector of the master trail.

Of the $50 million cost, $20 million would be for individual neighborhood parks.

The project would be financed by a 20-year extension of general obligation bond issue approved for bridge work and a five-year, half-cent increase in sales tax. The first phase will cost an estimated $20.8 million. The remainder of the expected $30 million total will be phased in as needs arise, officials said.

Also on the agenda is consideration of an emergency ordinance to create building regulations for temporary industrial workforce housing parks.

The ordinance would allow temporary industrial work force housing to park within industrial districts. The facilities will house workers who come to Enid as part of a rapidly growing industry, such as an oil boom, then leave when it is over.

A proposal will be considered to add $12,204 to the capital improvement fund to pay for installation of wireless technology and software to the Event Center and Convention Hall. The revised contract amount is $120,453.

The commission also will consider additional design services to construct more substantial steel at the Event Center to support overhead equipment necessary to sustain the full range of uses. That requires additional inspection and testing by Envirotech at a cost of $9,000.

Those two costs will come from the Renaissance line of credit.

Commissioners will hold an executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss economic development issues and consider an annual performance evaluation of Benson, and may consider renegotiating the contract.

The regular meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in city commission chambers at the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott, with a study session slated for 5 p.m.

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