City Council commissions new sidewalks, murals, vacant property acquisition

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs City Council met in a regular monthly meeting Monday evening and handed out a series of mayoral proclamations recognizing the Charles Page High School Wrestling Team for their State Championship wins this season.

The City of Sand Springs was recognized by the Oklahoma State Department of Health Center for the Advancement of Wellness for achieving the certified healthy designation of "Excellence." They were also awarded the 2017 State Historic Preservation Officer's Citation of Merit for the exterior rehabilitation of Page Memorial Library, which now houses the Sand Springs Historical and Cultural Museum. 

Parks Director Grant Gerondale provided a presentation on ongoing Parks Department projects. The department has been executing controlled burns at the Keystone Ancient Forest over the past months to keep overgrowth under control. They are also establishing a controlled burn line and trail that will be approximately three miles long when complete. According to Gerondale, the forest receives approximately 3,500 visitors per year.

The River City Park renovation is well under way. The department has planted nearly 200 new trees in the largest re-foresting project in the history of the city. Two new playgrounds have been installed that Gerondale described as "second to nothing in the U.S." The disc golf course is being relocated deeper within the park and is being expanded to a full 18-hole course. There will also be a "Thunder Cares" Court built in the park.

The park is still seeing extensive use in spite of ongoing construction. The Will Ramsey Softball Park and Inez Kirk Soccer Complex both saw more than fifty teams apiece at tournaments this past weekend and the BMX track has seen increased use in the past year. The Jerry Adair Baseball Park and the Soccer Complex are both undergoing expansion with the addition of new fields. 

SEE RELATED: Sand Springs Town Development History

Council unanimously approved the transfer of $51,578 from the ODOC Home Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund. The ODOC Home Fund was part of a federal program established in the 1990s to provide low-interest loans to elderly residents for home repairs. That program has long since been defunct and the funds have sat dormant for more than a decade. The money will now be used to acquire and combine vacant properties where dilapidated houses once stood in older neighborhoods. 

Council unanimously approved resolutions authorizing the use of Community Development Block Grant funding for construction of a sidewalk on the south side of 10th Street between Adams Road and Ray Brown Park.

Council unanimously approved an agreement between the City and the Sand Springs Public School District authorizing the use of $47,862.00 for the use of enhanced security systems, including video camera installation. 

Council unanimously approved the use of $1,500,000 to construct a new building to replace Fire Station #2 in Prattville. The current building has undergone multiple remodels that have failed to improve upon chronic roof leaks, a history of mold issues, and an overall inadequate design.

This disused mill on old Highway 51 will soon serve as a welcome sign to the City. 

Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the execution of several projects, including the commissioning of a series of murals around the community. One location planned to be the recipient of a beautification project is the abandoned silo on the property of Riverview RV Park on old Highway 51 in Prattville.