Sand Springs City Council issues continuance on controversial Dollar General location

Possible future site for a Dollar General store.

Possible future site for a Dollar General store.

The Sand Springs City Council took no action on a controversial ordinance to rezone a vacant lot at 2702 North State Highway 97. More than fifty local citizens showed up in opposition to a proposed Dollar General location that they feel is inappropriately located in a residential area.

Council was schedule to vote on rezoning the land from residential to commercial to allow the construction of a Dollar General store by AAB Engineering. Because the Council meeting was moved forward a week from its previously scheduled date, Dollar General representatives were unable to be present for the meeting, and requested a continuance.

Because of the lack of representation from Dollar General, and because of the absence of Vice Mayor Patty Dixon, Council voted 5-1 in favor of delaying the rezoning vote until the July 22nd meeting.

In the rezoning application, AAB Engineering points to the close proximity of a gas station, water tower, mini storage facility, church, and radio station as justification for the commercial zoning. Additionally, a 1981 plat of the land indicated that business or commercial operations would be allowed on the lot.

However, the property sits at the intersection of Pond Drive, which is entirely residential. Approximately 238 local residents signed a petition in opposition of the rezoning, citing their desire for a quiet, rural community, and fear that the construction of a Dollar General would lead to additional future development in the area.

The City of Sand Springs voted to annex the Osage County land on May 20th. The Planning Commission voted 2-2 on the rezoning application at their last week’s meeting, failing to recommend either approval or denial of the request. However, the City staff has recommended approval.

Mayor Jim Spoon remarked that he was impressed with the public turnout for the meeting, and hoped to see as many citizens at the next meeting. One citizen remarked that they would be bringing even more opposition to the next meeting.

Police Chief Mike Carter gave a presentation regarding the 2019 Policing Plan and took public comment on the subject. This is the fourth year the department has adopted a policing plan and last year’s version was awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Community Policing Award.

All officers will be issued new business cards with their name, badge number, and a website address to file online compliments or complaints. Following an unscientific Facebook poll with 93% community approval, the department will no longer restrict the hiring of officers with visible tattoos.

The department recently purchased six new police bicycles. They have been used successfully to silently close in on late night burglary suspects, to patrol trails systems and crowded community events, and to teach children how to ride bikes safely.

As part of the department’s Community Policing and Crime Reduction Plan officers took 51 students from Sand Springs Public Schools to a Tulsa ropes course to participate in the Community Trust Champions project.

The 2019 Policing Plan also calls for increased traffic violation warnings in lieu of fines, an improved system of acknowledging community complaints and disciplining officers, increased training and certifications, increased transparency, collaboration with local businesses for economic development, participation in the Hispanic Affairs Commission, Autism Awareness Training, and Critical Incident Inoculation Training.

In Other News:

Council revisited a request by Councilman Brian Jackson to have a Masonic Cornerstone installed at the new Billie A Hall Public Safety Center. The motion was previously defeated at both May Council meetings.

More than a dozen Masonic Lodge members turned out in support of the resolution, and former City Councilman Dean Nichols spoke on their behalf. The measure was approved by unanimous 6-0 vote.

Council unanimously approved the Worker’s Compensation Plan through the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group with a yearly premium of $489,706.

Council unanimously approved a resolution clarifying the City’s rules regarding retention of certain public records. The resolution allows for the immediate destruction of emails, social media posts, text messages, voicemails, and browsing history, leaving their retention up to the sole discretion of the individual employees involved.

Council unanimously approved an agreement with Crawford & Associates in the amount of $50,000 for accounting and consulting services.

Council unanimously approved an agreement with Arledge and Associates in the amount of $35,875 for for financial statement audit services.

Council unanimously approved a continuance regarding a rezoning request at the former K-Mart building. Council will vote July 22nd on whether to rezone 1200 East Charles Page Boulevard from Commercial Shopping to Commercial General.

Council unanimously approved a ratification of a Memorandum of Understanding for participation in the Southwest Area Tactical Team.

Council unanimously voted to declare as surplus two 2007 John Deere backhoes for trade-in.

Council unanimously voted to purchase a Yanmar Vio-80 Compact Excavator from DitchWitch of Tulsa for $102,550, and an Interstate 50TDL Equipment Trailer for $27,750.

Council unanimously approved a resolution setting forth guidelines to assist the City in pursuing legal claims and in responding to legal claims against the City.

Council unanimously approved a resolution affirming a Declaration of Emergency following the May 2019 Flood Event. The declaration authorizes and affirms the execution of contracts, budget amendments, waivers of competitive bidding, and payments to the pursuant contracts to restore City property and equipment that was damaged during the flood. City Staff is currently estimating a budgetary impact of $1,581,600 in flood damages.

Council unanimously approved a Master Service Agreement with Motorola Solutions for recurring services related to Motorola MCC 7500 dispatch consoles.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of the following individuals to various boards and committees:

  • Mike Burdge to Council Appointment Committee.

  • Christine Hamner to Council Appointment Committee.

  • Patty Dixon to Council Appointment Committee.

  • Mike Burdge to Council Finance and Development Committee.

  • Jim Spoon to Council Finance and Development Committee.

  • Patty Dixon to Council Finance and Development Committee.

  • Patty Dixon to Council Legislative Committee.

  • Christine Hamner to Council Legislative Committee.

  • Brian Jackson to Council Legislative Committee.

  • Jim Spoon to Council Public Works Advisory Committee.

  • Beau Wilson to Council Public Works Advisory Committee.

  • Phil Nollan to Council Public Works Advisory Committee.

  • Mike Burdge to the INCOG Board of Directors.

  • Jim Spoon as Alternate to the INCOG Board of Directors.

  • Jim Spoon to the INCOG General Assembly.

  • Elizabeth Gray as Alternate to the INCOG General Assembly.

  • Mike Burdge to the INCOG Legislative Consortium.

  • Jim Spoon as Alternate to the Legislative Consortium.

  • Derek Campbell to the INCOG - Tulsa Metropolitan Area Transportation Policy Committee.

  • TJ Davis as Alternate to the INCOG - Tulsa Metropolitan Area Transportation Policy Committee.

  • Phil Nollan to the Sand Springs Parks Advisory Board.

  • Daniel Comer to the Sand Springs Parks Advisory Board.

  • Harold Neal to the Sand Springs Planning Commission.

  • Keri Fothergill to the Sand Springs Planning Commission.

  • Phil Nollan to the Sand Springs Economic Development Authority.

  • Troy Zickefoose to the Tulsa County Criminal Justice Sales Tax Overview Committee.

  • Leia Anderson to the Pogue Airport Advisory Board.

  • Rick Westcott to the Pogue Airport Advisory Board.

  • Elizabeth Gray to the Sand Springs/Sapulpa Joint Board.

  • Derek Campbell to the Sand Springs/Sapulpa Joint Board.

In the Municipal Authority meeting following City Council, Trustees unanimously approved a $31,551 Agreement Renewal with the Metropolitan Environmental Trust for administering and operating the Sand Springs Recycling Project.

Trustees unanimously approved a one-year extension to a contract with Talley Golf, who operates the pro shop, grill, golf cart rental, and other services at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge.