The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 17, 2013

Final city budget vote set tonight

Commission to discuss public art, pool rules

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commission is expected to give final approval to a multi-million dollar budget tonight, including a vote to dip into the rainy day fund for trail improvements.

This marks the end of a months-long budget process, and the deadline to approve the authority for the city to spend nearly $173.5 million in the next year.

Commissioners have spent seven meetings in the past two months publicly discussing the budget and deciding where to cut and where to increase spending.

In addition to approving the final draft of next year’s budget, commissioners also will consider whether to spend $730,000 from the city’s “rainy day” fund for further construction of the Enid Trail System. Money from the reserve fund would be added to an expenditure in the fiscal year 2013-14 budget, for a total of $2 million on trail construction. The decision to spend that much on trails was made at a public meeting last month.

After the trails expenditure is deducted, the rainy day reserve fund still would carry $5.3 million.

The agenda for the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., also includes approval of a contract to construct American With Disabilities Act-compliant crossing signals and curb ramps at the intersections of Garriott and Cleveland; Garriott and 10th and Broadway at Van Buren. The bid for that project would go to Rick Lorenz Construction, which turned in the low bid at nearly $300,000.

The ADA-compliant construction is scheduled to begin Sept. 16, and would be complete within six months.

Several votes are scheduled tonight in preparation for extension of the runway at Enid Woodring Regional Airport. The first version of the agenda included a vote to buy 15.1 acres from Martha Parkinson adjacent to the runway, but it was pulled off the schedule shortly after it was released Monday.

Commissioners also will vote to sell several lots it owns for $190,000 that are just west of the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott.

Before city commissioners meet in regular session, they will hold a study session starting at 5 p.m. During that portion, the panel is scheduled to discuss professional auditing services, emergency management updates and a sign ordinance.

In addition, commissioners will discuss a proposal about art in public places.

Ward 5 Commissioner Tammy Wilson is proposing changes to the age limit of unattended children at city swimming pools. Currently, children visiting public pools without an adult present must be at least 12.

Wilson said many other municipal pools set their minimum age limit at 8 years old.

“I think 8 is a little young to go alone, but I think 10 is more reasonable than 12,” she said when asked about the issue Monday.

The idea came to her when she bought a season pass to the pool for her kids and they weren’t able to go because they were younger than the age limit last year.