The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 20, 2013

Hotel tops today's city commission agenda

ENID, Okla. — A master development agreement with LodgeWell Development LLC tops the agenda for the Enid City Commission meeting tonight.

The meeting was moved to Thursday this week due to the Monday Presidents Day holiday.

The city has been negotiating with LodgeWell and entered into a memorandum of agreement allowing LodgeWell to begin development of a hotel in the downtown area. The agreement will allow LodgeWell to design, construct and operate a Hilton Garden Inn, or comparable franchise, retail space, restaurant or other commercial space, and a second hotel.

City commissioners heard a proposal Feb. 5 from LodgeWell LLC to construct a $14 million Hilton Garden Inn, adjacent to the new Enid Event Center and renovated Convention Hall. The agreement is expected to involve Lodgewell developing, managing and operation of the hotel. The company has presented the city with two options, one for the city to own the hotel as a nonprofit venture, and the other for Lodgewell to put up development cost and retain private ownership.

Lodgewell managing members David Owen and Dave Mashburn told commissioners Feb. 5 they are prepared to go ahead with the development under either scenario. Lodgewell would manage daily operations of the hotel in either scenario.

City Manager Eric Benson said there is no public support for the city owning the hotel, but if it is something that is in the best interest of the people of Enid, it should be examined.

“Hotel management is not core service function of the city of Enid, but if it were a profitable option for the community and the citizens, we’d be foolish not to examine it,” Benson said.

There are a number of incentives open for negotiation with LodgeWell, including utility preparation, building fees, permit costs, infrastructure support and land ownership. Benson said negotiating options for the land on which the hotel will set include leasing the land to LodgeWell or deeding it to the developer.

Monetary value of the contract will not be known until after negotiations are complete with LodgeWell.

Also on the agenda for tonight’s meeting are:

•A presentation of the $50 million parks plan that will be voted on by residents March 5.

There are two issues, one a $30 million ad valorem tax issue, and the second a half-cent sales tax increase for five years to raise $20 million.

• Consideration of the parks master plan from Howell and VanCuren during the meeting.

• An emergency ordinance increasing fees for several items at Meadowlake Park. Most rates will increase by $1, and memberships will increase by $50 per person, per year.

• Consider waiving competitive bidding and approve a purchase of a wheel scraper for the landfill.

• A 35 mph speed limit sign on Oxford between Washington and 4th.

Newly elected Ward 6 Commissioner Dr. David Vanhooser will not be appointed to the seat until the March commission meeting. Vanhooser has been asked to succeed retiring commissioner Todd Ging and take office early. Other new commissioners, Ben Ezzell and Rodney Timm, will be installed the first city commission meeting in May.

On the agenda for the study session are ordinances regarding attendance at meetings of boards and commissions, and  fire protection facilities.

The study session begins at 5 p.m. in the lower-level conference room. The regular meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in city commission chambers at city hall, 401 W. Garriott.

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