Sand Springs City Council appoints former State Senator Nancy Riley to fill vacant seat

Nancy and Jerry Riley, Courtesy photo.

The Sand Springs City Council held its first-ever meeting at the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center Monday evening. During the meeting Council unanimously voted to appoint Nancy Riley to fill a vacant seat in their ranks.

Vice-Mayor Patty Dixon nominated Riley to fill the Ward 4 seat vacated by Christine Hamner, who recently moved outside of the Ward. Council had the option to either hold a general election, or appoint an applicant to finish the remainder of Hamner’s term. With the term set to expire in March of 2020, Council opted to take applications rather than spend the money to hold two general elections in a six-month period.

Riley is a former State Senator representing Senate District 37 from 2001 to 2009. She won the office twice as a Republican but switched affiliation to the Democratic Party in 2007. In 2006 she ran for Lieutenant Governor and received 23% of the vote. In 2014 she ran for the nonpartisan Ward 4 seat against John Fothergill and Terry Scott. She won the three-way race with 41%, but lost in a runoff against Fothergill with 38%. Riley ran again in 2017 against Hamner and lost 67 votes to 54. She currently serves on the Sand Springs Board of Adjustment.

Riley is a Tulsa transplant, graduating from Edison High School before attending Oklahoma Christian College and Langston University. Prior to running for office she taught at the elementary level in the Tulsa Public School system for more than a decade. She is married to Jerry Riley and has lived in Sand Springs for thirty years.

In a 2017 letter to Sandite Pride News, Riley said, “with 30 years of residency, I have also watched other cities grow and prosper in ways Sand Springs had not. It is my desire to work with our city in its development to benefit its citizens. We have several unique opportunities ahead due to diligent service of numerous Sandites that I want to be part of. It is my aim to look for ways to expand this growth through cooperation of Federal, State and County governments, without increasing the financial burdens to Sand Springs.”

Also applying for the position was Parks Advisory Board member Rick Barnett. Because Sand Springs follows Robert’s Rules of Order, they did not vote between the two candidates. Whichever candidate were to be nominated first would have to be voted on before the next applicant could be nominated.

In Other News:

Council unanimously voted to accept a water line easement granted from the Sand Springs Home. The City will be installing 161 linear feet of new 12-inch water line across the parking lot of the Sand Springs Home property at the corner of 21st Street and Adams Road, which will require an easement. In exchange for the easement, the City will also remove and replace approximately 300 square yards of deteriorated asphalt pavement located along the water line route and will install 25 feet of concrete flume to eliminate a ponding area in the parking lot.

Council unanimously voted to approve final acceptance of the public improvements to the Rivercrest subdivision on East 32nd Street between 113th West Avenue and Highway 97. The 14-lot subdivision has recently completed construction of public water, sanitary sewer, paving, and drainage improvements for the future housing development.

Council unanimously approved a one-year extension to an agreement between the Sand Springs Police Department and the Sand Springs Public School District. The Department provides a School Resource Officer to the District at a cost of $37,014.00. That price tag is estimated to be about half the cost of providing the officer. The Department covers the other half.

Council unanimously approved the purchase of a compact excavator with attachments and trailers for the Water Maintenance and Operations Department. The Yanmar Vio55-6 device and accessories will be purchased from DitchWitch of Tulsa for $78,200. The trailers will be purchased from DitchWitch for $55,500.

Council unanimously approved the replacement of a water treatment flow control valve. The valve in need of replacement supplies raw water to the City’s Water Treatment Plant and was installed in 1992. The City will purchase a B5 valve from H*E Engineered Equipment Company for $83,941.00

Council unanimously voted to update an existing interlocal agreement with the Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum. The City previously provided funds for a single part-time employee, but will now assume responsibility for all employees. The funding amount will not exceed $10,103 per fiscal year.

Planned site of a new five-lot development.

Council unanimously voted to adopt a Planned Unit Development overlay for a residential single-family district with five lots on the northeast corner of 6th Street and Industrial Avenue in the Sunrise Second Addition. The ordinance will reconfigure three existing lots to run north to south, as opposed to east to west, in order to fit two additional homes. The houses will face 6th Street, which doesn’t currently have sidewalks. They will all include two-car garages with driveways, and will be listed at approximately $100,000 per home.

Two citizens spoke in opposition to the development. Both raised concern regarding the amount of vehicles that will be added to the neighborhood through five additional homes, and the traffic it could create.

Council unanimously approved Ordinance 1341, amending the City Zoning Code to put into place minimum architectural standards regarding what types of metal siding and finishing materials would be allowed in various zoning districts.

Council unanimously voted to detach a property located on the corner of Highway 97 and Pond Drive. The property was annexed by the City by request of the property owner at their May 20th meeting. The property was previously being considered by developers for a potential Dollar General location. Since that deal fell through, the property owner wanted to return the land to its original Osage County jurisdiction.

Council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of a Pierce Velocity Pumper at a price of $700,538.98 from Conrad Fire Equipment.

Council unanimously voted to extend its existing contract with EMSA for emergency medical services at a price of $261,708.

Following the City Council meeting, the Municipal Authority meeting convened.

Trustees unanimously approved a two-year extension to a contract with Covanta for recovery of energy derived from disposal of solid waste collections.

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution authorizing certain improvements at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge Golf Course and Clubhouse. The entire clubhouse will undergo extensive remodeling, and improvements will be made to the course greens, tee-boxes, sand bunkers, and pathways. The project will go to bid in October and the course/clubhouse will be fully closed from December through July. Projected expenses are $1 million for the course and $1.05 million for the clubhouse.