The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 6, 2013

Money for parks equipment OK’d by commission

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Works Department now has the authority to make a huge purchase of parks maintenance equipment.

City commissioners approved Monday night a $750,000 request from Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser to buy a slew of machines and tools geared toward keeping parks maintained.

The purchase does not accompany a proposed shuffling of how the parks are managed, but Public Works Director Jim McClain said it would go well with a larger parks staff.

“It’s better served by the restructure,” McClain told Ward 2 Commissioner Mike Stuber.



Restructuring



Stuber wondered whether the equipment could be used with or without the restructuring of parks management. The equipment includes eight mowers, trailers, a tractor, Mule all-terrain vehicles and other lawn-care equipment.

“So if that restructure doesn’t go exactly as it’s presented, are we buying equipment that’s not going to be utilized?” Stuber asked.

City Manager Eric Benson replied that because the mowers and other purchases match the citywide fleet, they can be used in other departments.

“They blend with other divisions of the city,” Benson said. “They don’t just sit there when the parks season’s over. We can use them in the winter, too.”

The city will spend almost $300,000 on 270 rubbish bins and the city park equivalent of a trash truck, a small loader that slings one bin at a time into its hold, then packs the trash for transport.

The Public Works Department also is planning on buying seven leaf blowers and seven weed-eaters, two field striping machines and a professional striping machine.

“It enhances the beauty of the community, makes it cleaner,” said McClain. “It’s just good maintenance.”

The funds are available because of more-than-expected tax revenue.

Budget



Chief Financial Officer Jerald Gilbert presented the first strains of the fiscal year 2013-14 budget Monday night.

There likely will be special meetings May 15 and 17, May 23 and a public hearing on June 4, Gilbert said. The budget is expected to be approved June 18.

Gilbert has estimated $174 million in expenses, with $172.2 million in revenue.



Block grants



Commissioners approved the Community Development Block Grant Funding Committee recommendation to spend $384,949 on 11 requests aimed at helping low-income, elderly and disabled programs, through the federal CDBG program.

There was little difference between the committee’s and the city staff’s requests, except the committee provided $10,000 less for Community Development Support Association and $5,000 less for city code enforcement.

The Finance Committee in turn recommended spending $20,000 on restroom rehabilitation at Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse.

The renovations will make them more ADA compliant, said CDBG Coordinator Stephanie Carr.

Other business



Aside from installing Ben Ezzell and Rodney Timm as new commissioners, the panel also approved the following:

• Re-zoning of land immediately west of city hall from residential to commercial.

• Modifying the city budget to account for unexpected tax revenue, and forwarding the funds to police, fire and other agencies per mandatory allocation rules.

• An ordinance requiring “permanent” hotel residents to pay the hotel tax.

• Update the city codes regarding public urination and assault.

• A no-parking zone near ABC Park.

• Purchase of almost 55 acres north of Chestnut Avenue for water detention.