Daniel Bradley presented with John M. Hess Award for Outstanding Citizenship

Former Sand Springs Chief of Police and Assistant City Manager Daniel Bradley was presented with the John M. Hess Award for Outstanding Citizenship at Monday evening’s City Council meeting.

Bradley began his career as a Patrol Sergeant for the SSPD and worked his way up to Chief of Police. He spent 35 years with the department and 20 years in its highest position. He transitioned to the Assistant City Manager position for three years before retiring.

“The early years especially were not fun because I didn’t have the Mike Carters and the Todd Enzbrenners with me,” said Bradley. “Sometime’s it’s not popular and it’s not easy to do right… In the early years things were corrupt in the police department. The real early years, none of those guys are left here anymore. I was just looking for anything I could clean up.”

Outgoing Mayor Mike Burdge presented the award and read a Mayoral Proclamation during his last act as Mayor before his term expired. “There are few people since 1971 that I can honestly say I would go to war with,” said Burdge, a Vietnam Veteran. “Daniel Bradley, I would walk point for you any day.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man do a job with more passion,” closed Burdge. “I served with lot of heroes…but none of them hold a candle to Daniel Bradley.”

City Council approves measures related to infrastructure and development

Sand Springs City Manager Elizabeth Gray provided an update on the Sheffield Crossing Development Infrastructure Construction project at Monday evening’s City Council meeting.

The City purchased 18 acres of Highway 97 frontage from OmniTrax in December of 2017, on the former site of the Sheffield Steel Mill, with the intent of constructing a commercial development. City leaders hope to attract a large lumber/hardware store as an anchor for the Sheffield Crossing development.

Craig & Keithline Inc. has developed the initial infrastructure package, including an entry roadway, traffic signals, and storm and water facilities.

Two new traffic signals will be installed on Highway 97 as part of the project. One will be located at the entrance to Sheffield Crossing, and one will be located at the future intersection of the Main Street expansion. That intersection will join Main Street and Highway 97 with the new road planned along the top of the levee in Case Community Park.

Council approved a resolution waiving competitive bidding for certain traffic signal components for the development. The project deadline has already been pushed and the City hopes to save a few weeks on the delivery and installation of the traffic signal poles by purchasing them directly.

Gray commented that the massive piles of demolition rubble currently on the site will be used as filler within the development.

A representative from the City financial department gave an update on capital projects for fiscal year 2019-2020. The Capital Projects Fund will see an increase of $9.6 million in new funding, allocated to the following projects…

  • $50,000 Golf Course Pond Improvements

  • $15,000 Downtown Tree and Sidewalk Replacements

  • $10,000 River West ROW Mowing Contract

  • $100,000 Municipal Building Remodel - Furnishings & Equipment

  • $16,000 Municipal Building Badge System Replacement

  • $7,000 Sheffield Crossing Design Costs

  • $100,000 Traffic Signal Upgrades (Highway 97 Coordination Timing)

  • $25,000 Roadway Striping

  • $10,000 Project Design Assistance

  • $30,000 Speed Humps

  • $400,000 Sheffield Crossing Boulevard

  • $780,000 Street Overlays

  • $550,000 HWY 97T Rehab (Design and Construction)

  • $435,000 81st Weset Avenue Trail Connector (Design and Construction)

  • $100,000 Pratt Interceptor (32nd Street)

  • $20,000 Broadway WL Replacement (Main to Washington)

  • $150,000 WTP Improvements

  • $150,000 Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements (Pumps)

  • $318,000 Highway 97 12” Water Ling

  • $850,000 Sheffield Crossing Water & Wastewater Infrastructure

  • $250,000 SRWCS One-Way Tank

  • $300,000 Charles Page Water BPS Upgrade

  • $300,000 East 41st Street Water BPS Upgrade

  • $150,000 Wastewater Treatment Plant VFD Upgrade

  • $50,000 Arc Flash Electrical Safety Improvements (SRWCS, WTP, WWTP)

  • $250,000 Diamondhead Tank Rehab

  • $30,000 Airport Construction Fund

  • $20,000 Fueling Thermal Upgrades

  • $15,000 Ray Brown Park Stormwater Detention

  • $1.35 million Sheffield Crossing Stormwater Infrastructure

  • $41,000 Golf Course Improvements

  • $140,000 New police vehicles

  • $50,000 Downtown Street Overlays

  • $75,500 Case Park Levee Roadway

  • $250,000 Golf Course Renovations

In other news:

SEE RELATED: City Council approves permits for two new Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Council approved a resolution declaring the City’s intent to apply for a Community Development Block Grant from Tulsa County Community Development Urban County funds. The City expects to be allocated approximately $94,748 which will be used for a water line replacement project from 4th Street through 6th Street on Lincoln Avenue. The City will be replacing 980 linear feet of 4” cast iron line with 8” PVC line.

One of the conditions for receiving CDBG funds is that recipients must implement an action to further fair housing. To comply, Council unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming April 2019 as Fair Housing Month.

Council unanimously approved $46,769 for the purchase of park amenities from Happy Playgrounds. The funds will provide for five park benches, 30 trash can sets, and 14 picnic tables for Case Park. $6,354 will come from the existing Case Park Project fund, and $40,415 will come from the remaining 2014 GO Bond funds.

Council unanimously approved a resolution affirming Dilapidation Public Nuisance administrative hearing findings for buildings at 104 North Franklin Avenue, 810 1/2 North Franklin Avenue, 313 North Industrial Avenue, and 704 1/2 North Washington Avenue. The resolution authorizes the City to demolish the buildings on or after May 13, 2019 at the expense of the property owner.

Council unanimously approved an expenditure of $5,250 to We B Trees for stump grinding and the planting of five trees in the downtown Triangle District. The funds will be taken from the General Fund Economic Development-Marketing budget.

Council unanimously approved the Final Plat for a single-family gated subdivision on nine acres South of 51st Street and East of Skylane Drive. The Villas at Stone Creek Estates will include 39 lots on two blocks.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Justin Tockey to the Sand Springs Development Authority for an unexpired term to July 2021. Tockey is a Charles Page High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran. He has experience as a Development Officer for a Methodist non-profit and is currently pursuing a certification in Financial Planning. He is an active member of the Sand Springs Rotary Club, and has previously participated in the Sertoma Club and the American Legion.

Council unanimously approved the selection of Daniel Bradley as the 2019 recipient of the John M. Hess Municipal Award for Outstanding Citizenship. Bradley retired in 2018 after 38 years with the City. He spend 35 years at the Police Department, working his way up to Chief of Police before transitioning to Assistant City Manager. The award has been presented annually since 2003.

Council unanimously approved an amendment to a Franchise Agreement with CoxCom, LLC for E-911 services. The City has a non-exclusive franchise agreement with Cox for cable services, and the City collects a 5% franchise fee of approximately $220,000 per year. The amendment will provide an extension to the existing agreement for an additional five years.

Council unanimously approved the use of public funds for the following:

  • $2,100 for participation in the Oklahoma Municipal League Conference.

  • $1,310 for participation in the Mayors Council of Oklahoma.

  • $250 for participation in the OneVoice Day at the State Capitol.

  • $360 for participation in Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce Open Forums.

  • $250 for participation in Oklahoma Municipal League Day at the Capitol.

  • $1,500 for participation in the Mayoral Council of Oklahoma Board Meetings in Oklahoma City.

  • $3,500 for participation in the Tulsa Metro Chamber Washington D.C. Fly-In.

  • $2,200 to cover administrative expenses for Council/Administrative Workshops and the City Budget Fair.

  • $800 to cover City Manager/City Council Lunch Meetings.

  • $2,000 for membership in the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce.

  • $3,000 for membership in the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce.

  • $535 for membership in the Homebuilders Association.

  • $4,000 for membership in the Indian Nations Council on Government Coalition of Tulsa Area Government.

  • $16,000 for membership in the Oklahoma Municipal League.

  • $500 for membership in the Mayoral Council of Oklahoma.

  • $1,000 for miscellaneous membership dues.

City Calendar:
3/30 Keystone Ancient Forest Open Hike Day
4/4-4/7 Sand Springs Community Theater presents - Aladdin
4/6 Keystone Ancient Forest Hike With Your Dog Day
4/13 30th Annual Sand Springs Herbal Affair and Festival
5/3 Friday Flicks Outdoor Movies - The Incredibles 2
5/3-5/4 9th Annual OK 100-Mile Yard Sale Tour

Incumbent Patty Dixon re-elected to fourth term on City Council

Current City Council. (Left to right): Brian Jackson, Beau Wilson, Christine Hamner, Jim Spoon, Mike Burdge, Phil Nollan, Patty Dixon.

Current City Council. (Left to right): Brian Jackson, Beau Wilson, Christine Hamner, Jim Spoon, Mike Burdge, Phil Nollan, Patty Dixon.

Incumbent Sand Springs City Councilwoman Patty Dixon won reelection to the Ward 2 office Tuesday with 88.9% of the vote. Dixon defeated Caleb Nelms 64 votes to 8.

Dixon has served three non-consecutive terms on the council. She served two terms from 1990-1996, and filed unopposed in 2016 to fill a vacant seat.

Dixon’s resume includes stents on the Parks Advisory Board, Museum Association, HEAL Committee, Sertoma Club, and Oklahoma Municipal League. She is a retired employee of the Tulsa County Parks Department and owns Dixon Auto Glass with her husband, Tim. She is also a performer in the local community theater.

Sand Springs churches donate $4,000 for police and fire Christmas bonuses

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The Sand Springs Ministerial Alliance presented a $4,000 check to the City of Sand Springs at Monday night’s regular City Council meeting. The donation will be used for Christmas bonuses for City Firemen and Police Officers. HillSpring Associate Pastor Matt Barnett presented the check to Mayor Mike Burdge, Police Chief Mike Carter, and Fire Chief Mike Wood.

City Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing for the use of Municipal Reserve Funds for the advanced funding of various General Obligation Bond Projects. These accounts will be reimbursed following the bond sales.

Voters approved $12,165,000 in bond projects in November of 2017, but the City has only sold $3.5 million thus far in order to keep the millage rate under 13 mills.

In Other News:

Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing the Tulsa Metro Chamber OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda for 2019. Click here to read the agenda.

Council unanimously approved a Specific Use Permit for a medical marijuana growing facility at 1106 West Wekiwa Road.

Council unanimously approved a resolution affirming dilapidation public nuisance findings against properties at 11 West 35th Street, 418 North Grant Avenue, and 108 North Roosevelt Avenue. The buildings are slated for demolition on or after January 8.

Council unanimously approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford F-250 from Bill Knight Ford for Sand Springs Animal Welfare in the amount of $28,423.

Council unanimously approved a $34,709 payment to Aaron Fence Company for the replacement of 2,400 feet of fence at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Council unanimously approved a $45,750 payment to Garrow Construction for the replacement of 3,000 feet of deteriorated Campbell Creek Road water line.

Council unanimously approved a resolution adopting an investment policy for the City of Sand Springs and the Sand Springs Municipal Authority, providing clear guidance in regards to oversight, guidelines, and limitations of investments.

During the subsequent Municipal Authority meeting, Trustees unanimously approved the Shell Lake Dam Breach Plan, Revision 13.

City Council accepts bids for Case Park parking lots and Keystone Forest visitor center designs

The Sand Springs City Council approved several measures relating to City parks and other capital improvement projects at their Monday evening meeting.

Council unanimously approved a contract with Studio 45 Architects relating to the Keystone Ancient Forest. The City will pay the company $40,000 to design a small visitor center at the forest preserve. The visitor center project was approved by voters as part of a 2017 general obligation bond package. The design phase is expected to be completed by Spring of 2019 and will then go to bid for construction.

Council also voted to approve a bid from R&L Construction in the amount of $473,911.00 for a paved parking lot expansion and new sidewalk at Case Community Park. The project will pave an existing 175-spot gravel parking lot at the Jerry Adair Baseball Park, and will add a 36-space lot at the Rotary Super Splash Pad. The project will also include curbs and guttering.

Council approved a six-year Capital Improvement Plan for Pogue Municipal Airport. The City plans to invest $3,830,000 in drainage improvements and taxiway rehabilitation.

Council approved a payment of $64,045.00 to Tim Mills Fence Company for a large section of white vinyl fencing installed along the Sand Springs Expressway.

Council approved a $30,100.00 expenditure to Mills Truck & Tractor Service Inc. for a storm pipe replacement project at the intersection of 2nd Street and Lincoln Avenue. The project is expected to take approximately 2-3 weeks to complete.

Council approved the purchase of 911 Police/Fire Dispatch Consoles for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Facility in the amount of $49,166.00.

Council approved a resolution of Notice of Election for City Council Wards 1 & 2. Phil Nollan and Patty Dixon will be up for reelection in 2019. The filing period is set for December 3-5. The primary election, if needed, will be held on February 12, 2019. The general election, if needed, will be held on April 2nd.

City Councilman Jim Spoon receives national honors

Sand Springs, OK - Sand Springs’ own Jim Spoon has been recognized by the National Community Pharmacists Association during the NCPA’s 2018 convention in Boston, MA. Spoon has been recognized as the 2018 Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year, for his exemplary leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy and his community.

“Jim has been a tireless advocate for independent pharmacy over the years, helping shape not only its future but the future of his community through service,” said NCPA President David Smith, RPh as part of the national convention’s announcements.

Spoon currently serves as Sand Springs City Council Member “At Large” and is a member of the council’s Legislative and Finance and Development Committees. He is a Sand Springs Rotarian, and has been an active member of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy and the Sand Springs Education Foundation.

He received his BS in Pharmacy in 1975 from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and received his PharmD from the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Many local Sand Springs residents may be familiar with Spoon Drug, which he opened in 1979.

“We wish to express our sincere congratulations to Jim Spoon on this well-deserved recognition,” said Elizabeth Gray, City Manager for the City of Sand Springs. “We enjoy the opportunity to work with Mr. Spoon on our council and appreciate his long-standing commitment to improve our city and this community.”

Sand Springs City Council passes Morrow Road widening project

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The Sand Springs City Council unanimously approved a resolution to begin the Morrow Road Widening Project at their Monday evening regular meeting.

Council awarded the $1.407 million bid to Crossland Heavy Contractors. The existing two-lane asphalt section of Morrow Road between Highway 97 and Broad Street will be completely removed, the sanitary sewer main will be relocated, and a new three-lane road will be constructed with a central turn lane. The City hopes to have the project completed in time for the opening of the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center in the Spring of 2019.

The new public safety facility is under construction in the 400 block of West Morrow Road in the Sheffield Crossing development. It will be approximately 40,000 square feet and will house Police, Fire, Municipal Court, Jail, Emergency Operations Center and 911 Communications operations. 

Council also approved a contract with GH2 Architects for the remodel design and conceptual master planning of the current Sand Springs Municipal Building in the downtown Triangle District, and for construction oversight of the project. The Municipal Building will continue to house administrative, financial, human resources, marketing, planing and zoning, and other departments.

In Other News:

Council unanimously voted in favor of an honorary street naming in recognition of Webco Industries founder, William Weber. Webco is the largest employer in Sand Springs.

Council unanimously approved the installation of tower grounding and antenna systems for the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. Total Radio Inc. will execute the project for $34,644.

Council unanimously voted to purchase a 2017 Peterbilt 348 Series dump truck in the amount of $117,000.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending licensing requirements for sale of alcoholic beverages.

Council unanimously approved the use of the 2018 Community Development Block Grant for a project in Ray Brown Park. The $94,748.11 grant will be used for a paved walking trail through the park from 10th Street to 6th Street, as well as a swing set and ADA-accessible playground equipment.

Sand Springs Salvation Army celebrates 40 years of doing the most good

Sand Springs Mayor Mike Burdge and the Sand Springs City Council presented the Sand Springs Salvation Army Corps with a Mayoral Proclamation Monday evening, recognizing their forty year anniversary at their current location. Read the full text of the proclamation below. 

 “Whereas, the mission of the Salvation Army is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination; and

“Whereas, the Salvation Army helped found the Sand Springs Home and the Widow’s Colony in 1911; and

“Whereas, the Salvation Army opened a Home and Hospital for Unwed Mothers in Sand Springs in 1928; and

“Whereas, in 1930, a Salvation Army Corps opened in Sand Springs with the generous assistance of founder, Charles Page, and former Salvation Army pioneer Captain B. F. Breeding; and

“Whereas, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence; and

“Whereas, in the 1970’s the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs began to flourish and grow in Sand Springs and

“Whereas, on September 24, 1978, the Sand Springs Salvation Army Corps Community Center, in memory of Charles Page, opened its doors for the first time; and

“Whereas, the Salvation Army in Sand Springs is now celebrating 40 years in its present location on 129th W. Ave; and

“Now, therefore, I, Mike Burdge, as Mayor of the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and on behalf of the City Council of the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, do hereby recognize and celebrate a long history of meeting the needs of our children and citizens in partnership together with the Salvation Army.

“Dated this 24th day of September, 2018.”

Sand Springs Mayor and City Attorney receive Oklahoma Municipal League honors

Sand Springs, OK - Members of the Sand Springs Council and City of Sand Springs administration received state honors last night during the annual Oklahoma Municipal League Conference held in Oklahoma City. Mayor Mike Burdge was awarded the Don Rider Award by the OML for his outstanding leadership among municipal governments in the state.

Burdge is also a 2015 inductee into the OML Hall of Fame for his long-standing service and commitment to statewide municipal work as well as to the Sand Springs community.

The OML also awarded David Weatherford the honor of induction into the league’s Hall of Fame during the honors banquet. Weatherford has served as the City Attorney for Sand Springs since 2002, and has provided specialized legal counsel and training for many years to multiple municipalities across much of Oklahoma. In addition to serving the Sand Springs community, Weatherford assists the City of Mannford and recently assisted the City of Coweta.

The honors reflect both recipient’s long-standing commitment and work toward improving municipal government and addressing issues which can affect daily lives for citizens in Sand Springs and Oklahoma.

The OML was created in 1913 to create a statewide municipal organization to bring public attention to the issues confronting city and town officials and their impact on Oklahomans. The City of Sand Springs is a member of the Oklahoma Municipal League.

Kevin Stitt, Jadine Nollan win Republican nominations in runoff

Four-term incumbent Jadine Nollan won the Republican nomination for House District 66 in a runoff Tuesday evening, defeating Sand Springs City Councilman Brian Jackson.

With all precincts reporting, Nollan defeated Jackson with 59.87% of the 3,125 total ballots cast. Jackson received 1,254 votes. 

Nollan is a Sand Springs native, Charles Page High School and Oklahoma State University alumni, and former Sand Springs Board of Education President. She will meet Democratic nominee Angela Graham in the November election.

Gateway Mortgage executive Kevin Stitt defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett with 54.56% of 302,077 ballots for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Former Party Chair Chris Powell won the Libertarian Party nomination with 59.07% of 926 votes over Rex Lawhorn. They will meet Democratic nominee Drew Edmondson in the general election.

Matt Pinnell defeated Dana Murphy with 58.14% of the vote for the Lieutenant Governor nomination. State Senator Anastasia Pittman secured the Democratic nomination in June and the two will also face Independent Dr. Ivan Holmes, former chair of the State Democratic Party. 

Cindy Byrd defeated Charlie Prater in a close race with 50.17% for the State Auditor and Inspector Republican nomination. She will face Libertarian nominee John Yeutter.

Incumbent Mike Hunter won a close race for the Attorney General nomination with 50.05% over Gentner Drummond. He will face Democratic nominee Mark Myles.

Incumbent Superintendent of Public Education Joy Hofmeister handily fended off Linda Murphy with 56.68% of the vote. She will face Democratic nominee Dr. John Cox and Independent Dr. Larry Huff. 

Leslie Osborn defeated Cathy Costello with 52.35% of votes for the Commissioner of Labor nomination. She will face Democrat Fred Dorrell and Independent Brandt Dismukes. 

Bob Anthony attained 53.61% of the vote for the Corporation Commissioner Republican nomination over Brian Bingman. Ashley McCray won the Democratic nomination with 65.08% over Blake Cummings. They will face Independent Jackie Short in November. 

McDonald's franchisee Kevin Hern defeated former Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris with 54.92% of the vote in the U.S. Representative Republican runoff for District 1. Tim Gilpin won the Democratic nomination with 59.38% over Amanda Douglas. 

Incumbent Republican District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler defended his nomination against Ben Fu with 56.61% of the vote in District 14. He will face Democrat Jenny Proehl-Day in November. 

City Council approves SSPD Resource Officer for Sand Springs Public Schools

The Sand Springs City Council approved a $34,211.00 expenditure to provide a School Resource Officer for the Sand Springs Public School District at Monday night's regular monthly meeting.

Sand Springs Police Chief Mike Carter said the proposal was partly a response to school shootings across the country and partly an opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of students. In addition to providing security, the SRO will also oversee the department's truancy program.

"We're one of the few communities that has a truancy program," says Carter. "It's not about just writing citations, it's about finding out if there's other family dynamics that are causing that student to miss school. Besides the lost education opportunity, we may find other problems that are happening with that student in that family."

The department has a history of providing school resource officers, and at one point had as many as three. Eventually economic downturn left the department with dwindling resources and the position was eliminated about five years ago.

In other news:

Council approved a dilapidation public nuisance resolution ordering the demolition of 400 North Cleveland Avenue on or after September 5th if the property owner does not begin repairs.

Council renewed a ten-year tax incentive agreement between the City of Sand Springs and Reasor's LLC. The City recruited the grocery store chain to Sand Springs in 2011 through a $2 million incentive, creating more than sixty jobs at the long-vacant Wal Mart facility in Prattville.

Council accepted a $65,045 bid from Tim Mills Fence Company for 6,400 feet of white vinyl fence. The company will have until October 1 to complete the installation along the city's highway corridors. 

Council approved the purchase of a Toro Reelmaster mower for the City sports fields. The $55,027.93 mower will be funded initially by the City but will be reimbursed over a three-year period by the Baseball, Soccer, and Softball organizations who lease the parks. 

Council approved a $188,702.47 contract with L&M Office Furniture to furnish the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. 

Council approved a $113,387.00 contract with Southwest Solutions to purchase storage lockers, explosive cabinets, high density shelving, gun lockers, armory storage cabinets, etc. for the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center.

Following the Council meeting, the Sand Springs Municipal Authority approved $99,547.24 to purchase two new Toro Greenaster 3150-Q lawn mowers and a Toro Workman utility vehicle for the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course. 

City Council passes demolition order for historic grocery store building

The Sand Springs City Council approved an abatement and demolition order against the former Tilley's Grocery Store at Monday evening's regular monthly meeting.

The historic two-story stone building at 400 N. Cleveland Ave. was heavily damaged by fire in September of 2016 and has remained roofless and hollow ever since.

Built in the 1920s, the grocery store was owned and operated by former City Councilman Kim Lee Tilley and wife Janie for more than twenty years before being vacated. The grocery store went under various names and owners for most of its history, and at times was a laundromat and barbershop. 

According to the resolution, property owner Dale Chronister has until September 5 to begin restoring the property, otherwise the City will demolish the structure. 

In other news:

Council renewed a ten-year tax incentive agreement between the City of Sand Springs and Reasor's LLC. The City recruited the grocery store chain to Sand Springs in 2011 through a $2 million incentive, creating more than sixty jobs at the long-vacant Wal Mart facility in Prattville.

Council accepted a $65,045 bid from Tim Mills Fence Company for 6,400 feet of white vinyl fence. The company will have until October 1 to complete the installation along the city's highway corridors. 

Council approved the purchase of a Toro Reelmaster mower for the City sports fields. The $55,027.93 mower will be funded initially by the City but will be reimbursed over a three-year period by the Baseball, Soccer, and Softball organizations who lease the parks. 

Council approved a $188,702.47 contract with L&M Office Furniture to furnish the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center. 

Council approved a $113,387.00 contract with Southwest Solutions to purchase storage lockers, explosive cabinets, high density shelving, gun lockers, armory storage cabinets, etc. for the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center.

Council approved a $34,211.00 expenditure to provide a School Resource Officer for the Sand Springs Public School District. 

Following the Council meeting, the Sand Springs Municipal Authority approved $99,547.24 to purchase two new Toro Greenaster 3150-Q lawn mowers and a Toro Workman utility vehicle for the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course. 

Sand Springs City and Chamber of Commerce partner to create small business incubator in downtown

The Sand Springs Municipal Authority unanimously voted Monday evening to move forward with plans for a partnership with the Sand Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. 

The City of Sand Springs will lease the old Public Works facility at 109 North Garfield to the Chamber of Commerce at an amount of $1.00 per year, giving the Chamber room to develop a business incubator in the heart of downtown.

The Chamber will sublet office space to upstart businesses at a rate lower than most downtown office space. They will also provide resources to help young businesses get to a point of profitability that they can eventually move into the large amount of vacant downtown storefronts.

The terms of the agreement allow for either party to cancel the lease with a 90-day written notice for any reason. The City will receive 25% of the sublease revenue, while the Chamber will keep 75% to help with their economic development projects. The City will also receive a quarterly financial report and monthly update on the occupant businesses. 

The Chamber will take possession of the building in "as-is" condition and will be doing a self-funded remodel to convert the building for their purposes. 

Chamber President Kristin Cepak says it will take the Chamber about nine to twelve months to get the incubator program off the ground. The Chamber is working with The Forge, a curriculum-based certified business incubator in Tulsa, and 36 Degrees North, to create a fully certified program through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

In Other News:

Council authorized City staff to apply for Programming of Tulsa Urbanized Area Transportation Alternative Funds. The City is working to construct a sidewalk along the western side of 81st West Avenue from Tenth Street to Park Road. 

Council unanimously passed Ordinance 1321 amending City zoning codes for the potential passage of State Question 788. Should medical or recreational marijuana ever be legalized in the State of Oklahoma, growers, processors, and retailers would have to apply for Specific Use Permits. 

Council unanimously passed Ordinance 1322, aligning the City with State statutes regarding underage access to tobacco. The ordinance prohibits possession or sale of vapor products to youth under age 18.

City Council approved a $165,096.00 contract renewal with Superion LLC for financial software. 

Council approved a $31,636.80 purchase order to upgrade all City employees to Microsoft Office 2016.

Council approved the purchase of 49 Dell PCs for Police, Fire, and Municipal Court departments in the amount of $37,240.

Council approved supplemental appropriations totaling $1,047,000.00 from the Municipal Authority Water Utility Fund to prefund building, golf course, museum, and park improvements. The water fund will be reimbursed when certain voter-approved bond packages are sold. 

Council approved a $29,662.27 service agreement with Motorola Solutions to upgrade Police Department communications systems.

Council approved $107,397.00 for the purchase of three 2018 Ford Police Interceptor SUV units and one 2019 Ford Taurus unmarked detective units.

Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding and $3,214.75 payment to the Indian Nations Council on Government for 9-1-1 mapping and MSAG services. 

Council approved $261,708.00 to subsidize EMSA services for the city. 

Council approved $47,485.00 to furnish the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center and Fire Station No. 2. 

Council accepted a $29,635 bid from Candle Electric for electrical work in Case Community Park. Candle will work to replace buried electrical wiring feeding the roadway lights. They returned the lowest bid out of three companies.

Council approved a final payment of $6,860.00 to Lambert Construction for their work in building a hardened storm shelter at Case Community Center.

Council approved an agreement renewal with the Metropolitan Environmental Trust (M.e.t.) in the amount of $33,132.00 for operating the Sand Springs Recycling Program. 

Council unanimously appointed Merle Parsons to the Board of Adjustment.

Council unanimously appointed Sharon Weaver to the Sand Springs Development Authority.

Council unanimously appointed Thomas Askew and Paul Shindel to the Planning Commission. 

Council declared three residential lots as surplus, authorizing sale for residential development. The lots, located at 301 N Franklin Ave, 307 N Franklin Ave, and 505 W Broadway St, were donated in lieu of payment of liens.

Council approved $394,908.00 for the purpose of replacing Precision Approach Path Indicators and constructing a new Electrical Vault at Pogue Airport. 

Representative Jadine Nollan endorsed by James Lankford for fifth term

Incumbent Representative Jadine Nollan was recently endorsed by U.S. Senator James Lankford. (SUBMITTED).

Jadine Nollan is a household name in the Sand Springs community. After ten years on the Sand Springs Board of Education followed by eight years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, she’s asking for House District 66 voters to trust her with another term in the State Legislature.

A lifelong Sandite and 1977 Charles Page High School graduate, Jadine Cox met her future husband, now City Councilman Phil Nollan, at Oklahoma State University. The two have been married for 37 years and have three kids, two granddaughters, and a cat. Each of their children attended Sand Springs Public Schools.

“This is a job that will take as much as you will give it,” says Nollan, who is a full time representative with no private sector career. “I try to be really devoted, I do a lot of research. I try to be in the community.”  Before running for State office she was the director at Sand Springs Community Services, assisting the low-income community with clothing, school supplies, and food. She also served multiple terms as the Sand Springs Board of Education President.

Nollan is the chairwoman for the Higher Education and Career Tech committee and also serves on the Appropriations and Budget Education committee, the Children, Youth, and Family Services committee, and the Common Education committee.

“One thing I learned during the teacher walkout after talking to teachers from all over our state is there are still a lot of issues we need to look at and try to improve in their situations. I do think that we need to continue to discuss how we can make our school systems strong,” says Nollan.

“Our school districts are the ones that actually develop a strong workforce. We have to have a strong workforce in order to have strong businesses. We have to have strong businesses in order to have a strong economy.”

Keeping with that mission, Nollan authored House Bill 2155 which passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin in May of 2017. The bill required the State Board of Education to adopt a statewide system of college and career planning tools that would help parents, counselors, and teachers to develop an individualized career-based learning plan for students. 

“One goal I have and would like to see take place is making a very clear pathway for our students to be able to earn an Associate’s degree by the time they finish high school. Our biggest workforce needs right now are Associate’s degrees and career-tech certifications. So I’d really like to see us focus on that.”

She also authored HB3220 which will help streamline the process of approving emergency certifications for teachers during the current statewide teacher shortage. That bill was signed into law in May of 2018.

HB3225 is another bill Nollan is excited about authoring. “When I was elected I found out we had millions of dollars in tax credits that the State was paying, but we weren’t tracking them at all.”

The Legislature created the Incentive Evaluation Commission in 2015, but HB3225 takes it a step further and will put all State incentives online for anyone to view them.

“The State has these blank checks that they’re writing for these incentives, but we don’t understand how they’re growing. I had this idea that kind of snowballed into a real time dashboard concept for tax credits that would measure and monitor the growth of them. What the bill does, is it directs the Oklahoma Tax Commission to develop a real-time dashboard and put it on their website. That way, with the constant turnover in the legislative body, it would allow them to have a resource for future legislators to be able to determine how those are growing.”

The bill garnered bipartisan support and passed the Senate unanimously before being signed into law this May. The OTC has until January of 2020 to develop and launch the program.

Nollan says she supports the will of the people regarding State Question 788 legalizing medical marijuana, but says the Legislature will have to work to create a strong framework for the industry. She is concerned with how the state workforce might be affected should voters ever push to legalize recreational marijuana.

Minimum wage should remain at its current level, according to Nollan. “Of course you want people to be able to survive, but I also think that businesses need to be able to determine those rates so it doesn’t put the business in jeopardy.”

Nollan also wants to provide context surrounding a controversial attempt by House Democrats to end the Capital Gains tax deduction during the latest session.

Senate Bill 1086 passed 30 votes to 9, but according to Nollan there was an agreement in the House that Republican leadership would vote to increase the Gross Production Tax on new oil wells if Democrats agreed not to push for Capital Gains. After HB1010xx passed, raising GPT from 2% to 5%, Democrats then attempted to suspend House rules to vote on SB1086.

Nollan says she would be open to considering SB1086, but because House leadership didn’t expect it to go to the floor, the bill never went through the standard process of committee review. “The unintended consequences had not been vetted or researched,” says Nollan. She says the House never takes bills straight from the Senate and votes on them without going through committee first.

Nollan wants to remind voters of all the progress that the Legislature has already made in the past few years, especially HB1023xx which raised Oklahoma teacher pay to second in the region with an average increase of $6,100. The Fiscal Year 2019 education budget, which already passed the legislature, includes a 19% increase in education funding with allocations for textbooks and support staff raises.

She also points to the Energy Stabilization Fund created in 2016, which banks energy revenue during boom years to help stabilize the budget during oil busts.

“67% of our legislative body after this cycle will have less than two years’ experience. There’s some issues with regard to institutional memory. It’s such a huge learning curve whenever you first start: understanding the process and understanding such a wide variety of issues that our state has to deal with.”

“That’s something that I think is noteworthy,” says Nollan. “It does put a lot of power into the hands of the lobbyists, the agency heads, the bureaucrats, when there’s such a large turnover in the legislative body.”

Nollan holds an “A” rating from the Research Institute for Economic Development, a 100% rating from the National Federation of Independent Business, an apple from the Oklahomans for Public Education group, a 100% rating from Oklahomans for Life and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. She has endorsements from U.S. Senator James Lankford, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, and the Oklahoma State Chamber.

The Republican Primary will be held on Tuesday, June 26th. Nollan will face Emily Delozier and Sand Springs City Councilman Brian Jackson. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the votes, then the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election on August 28th. The winner will face the Democratic nominee on November 6th.

Sand Springs City Councilman Brian Jackson running for House District 66

Sand Springs City Councilman Brian Jackson is throwing his hat in the ring for the House District 66 election. The Republican candidate is a thrice-elected councilman and has been awarded an apple by the Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education political action group. 

Education is the cornerstone of Jackson's campaign, an issue which he says is "the purest form of economic development." He points to proper education funding as a solution to fixing both the State economy as well as overcrowded prisons. 

"From the womb to the classroom, that's how I describe my philosophy," says Jackson. "Education gives you options...Incarceration breaks up families, continues the cycle of poverty, and creates a reliance on government."

He says the teacher pay raise included in House Bill 1023xx is just a start and that school funding and salaries need to continue to go up. He is opposed to forced consolidation of school districts.

"I'm a Republican that's not afraid to reinvest in our Oklahoma," says Jackson. "We do that by these taxes. You've done tax breaks here and there with businesses and income tax."

Jackson praises the revenue package passed with House Bill 1010xx and says that he would go a step further by raising gross production tax to 7% on new oil wells. The GPT was raised from 2% to 5% during the latest session. He also wants to look at raising income tax and ending the capital gains tax deduction. 

Jackson is a Charles Page High School graduate from the Class of 2002. His wife, Barbie, is a fifteen year veteran teacher in the Sand Springs Public School District. The two have a daughter, Bella, in the second grade.  He earned his Associate's Degree through the Tulsa Community College West Campus in Sand Springs and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. He has spent the last ten years as Development Manager for Junior Achievement of Oklahoma and has spent nine years on the Sand Springs City Council. 

One of the most important things Jackson wants voters to know is that he plans to be an "open-door legislator." In fact, he plans to remove his office door altogether so that constituents can always access him. 

Jackson plans to vote "Yes" on State Question 788, legalizing medical marijuana. "If there is something out there like marijuana that can change someone's life - I'm for that. I don't want to be hindering anyone. I think it's a moral issue if you're standing in the way of something that could be beneficial."

Regarding tax incentives, Jackson says they're "the nature of the game nowadays." He points to the City of Sand Springs's recruitment of Reasor's and Wal-Mart as evidence of the success of tax incentives. "You have to do your research to make sure on each individual case, if it makes business sense. We really need to evaluate each one to make sure it's providing fruit."

Jackson is hesitant to raise the minimum wage saying that the current rate provides an individual incentive for employees. "You show your employer that you've got drive and skill and passion for that job, you're not going to stay at the minimum. When the government starts intervening in that, that goes directly to the consumer."

Jackson would have voted "No" for the Constitutional Carry bill that was passed by the legislature and vetoed by Governor Mary Fallin. He says that Oklahomans already have the ability to get an open or concealed carry license, and that removing the screening process would create a "Wild West scenario" that could escalate potentially dangerous situations.

He opposes Senate Bill 1140 which allowed for religious adoption agencies to refuse to work with LGBTQ couples. "I'm a person that believes not to discriminate against people. That bill discriminates. We have thousands of children in Oklahoma that are waiting for a loving family."

Jackson previously ran for a House seat in 2006 and for Senate District 37 in 2016 and 2017. Should he win the primary and November general election, he would have to surrender his City Council seat. Jackson just began a three-year term in May of 2018 and the City of Sand Springs would have to have a special election to replace him. 

The Republican Primary will be held on Tuesday, June 26th. Jackson will face incumbent Jadine Nollan and Emily Delozier. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the votes, then the top two candidates will advance to a runoff election on August 28th. The winner will face the Democratic nominee on November 6th. 

Proposed golf course cell tower draws controversy at City Council

Monday night's monthly Sand Springs City Council meeting focused heavily on a controversial cell tower in the works at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course.

The municipal golf course owned by the City has been approached by Branch Communications, who wants to build an 85-foot cellular tower for AT&T on golf course property. The "stealth tower" is designed to resemble a pine tree and would not obstruct fairways.

According to Branch VP Mark Kenser, AT&T previously had an antenna atop the McKinley Water Tower for twenty years, but was denied a lease renewal.

Kesner said the company has been looking for a location for a new tower for two years, but has been severely limited due to topography and zoning restrictions. 

According to Kesner, the tower needs to be within a half-mile of its current location, and very little of that area is usable. Multiple private land owners have been approached, but none were interested in leasing or selling property. 

Kesner says AT&T would prefer to build a 150 ft. tower but dropped to eighty due to Municipal and citizen aesthetic concerns. 150 feet would be necessary to maintain current coverage, and eighty feet will offer the poorest coverage allowed by federal regulations. 

Several citizens spoke in opposition to the tower due to the obstruction it would impose on the natural view. Bill Denton, a residential developer, was concerned about the impact the tower will have on his property value and ability to sell homes.

Realtor Diane Robbins said she owns enough land for a thirty-plot subdivision, which already has a preliminary plat. She was also concerned about the impact the tower would have on property value. Realtor Dana Box echoed Robbins' comments.

Former City Councilman Dean Nichols spoke on behalf of Councilwoman Patty Dixon, who was absent due to a family medical emergency. According to Nichols, Dixon was firmly against the tower but was unable to be present for the vote.

Nichols also asserted that the income the City will be receiving from AT&T is far less than it should be when compared to what other companies have been known to pay. If the agreement with Branch is approved, the City will lease the property for $1,200 per month.

According to City Attorney David Weatherford, the question on the agenda was specifically regarding whether or not the tower was an appropriate use of land, and did not actually affirm a contract with the company. 

City ordinances require Antenna and Supporting Structures go through a Specific Use Permit process to prevent objectionable uses of land where zoning wouldn't specifically prohibit the placement of said equipment. 

If the tower is built, it would also have room to hold up to three additional carriers.

In other news:

Municipal Judge Tom Askew administered the Oath of Office to three new police officers. Jerrod Raglin, William Paarmann, and Cody Ziegler were sworn in with the Sand Springs Police Department.

Council unanimously approved a supplemental appropriation of $207,250 from the Water Utility Fund to pave the parking lot at Jerry Adair Baseball Park in Case Community Park. Voters approved the project as part of a general obligation bond package in 2017, but the bonds have yet to be sold to fund it. 

Council unanimously passed an ordinance allowing the City Municipal Court to try misdemeanor drug offenses, rather than sending them to the County for prosecution. Police Chief Mike Carter believes offenders will get more contact and help at the local level.

Council unanimously voted to greenlight a pilot program for traffic signage in residential neighborhoods. The City will begin placing signs with parking restrictions at the entrances to housing additions rather than along the streets. 

Council unanimously approved $382,249 for the purchase of a new wastewater vacuum/jet rodder truck. Citizens voted to fund the purchase in a November 2017 general obligation bond issue.

Council unanimously approved a $50,000 contract with Crawford & Associates for accounting and consulting services. 

Council unanimously approved a $34,160 contract with Arledge and Associates, P.C. to audit the City finances. 

Council unanimously approved the 2018 Sand Springs Police Department Policing Plan. 

Council unanimously approved an increase of $32,835 to an existing $317,179 contract with Sapulpa Digging, Inc. for the 2018 Sanitary Sewer Line Rehabilitation Project. 

Council unanimously approved a $54,305 one-year extension to an existing agreement with the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority for bus transit services in the Sand Springs area. 

Council unanimously approved the Final Plat for the Rivercrest Addition, a fourteen-lot 4.82-acre subdivision near East 31st Place and South 113th West Avenue.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Mike Burdge, Brian Jackson, and Patty Dixon to the the Council Appointment Committee.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Burdge, Dixon, and Jim Spoon to the Council Finance and Development Committee. 

Council unanimously voted to appoint Dixon, Spoon, and Christine Hamner to the Council Legislative Committee. 

Council unanimously voted to appoint Hamner, Beau Wilson, and Phil Nollan to the Council Public Works Advisory Committee.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Arron Montross and Kathe Crapster to the Parks Advisory Board. 

Council unanimously voted to appoint Burdge to the Indian Nations Council on Governments (INCOG) Board of Directors with City Manager Elizabeth Gray as an alternate. 

Council unanimously voted to appoint Burdge to the INCOG General Assembly with Gray as an alternate.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Burdge to the INCOG Legislative Consortium with Gray as an alternate.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Jackson to the INCOG Tulsa Metropolitan Area Transportation Policy Committee.

Council unanimously voted to appoint Wilson to the Sand Springs Economic Development Authority Trust. 

Council unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Master Fee Schedule. 

The Sand Springs Municipal Authority meeting was held after City Council.

Municipal Trustees unanimously approved a thirty-year ground-lease contract with Ullrich Aviation at $3,531.33 per year for fifteen T-Hangars at Pogue Airport.

Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Joe Stephenson and David Kvach to the Airport Advisory Board.

Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Elizabeth Gray and Derek Henley to the Sand Springs/Sapulpa Joint Board. 

Sam Childers presented Outstanding Citizenship Award, Burdge reelected as Mayor

Sam Childers was posthumously recognized with the John M. Hess Award for Outstanding Citizenship at Monday evening's Sand Springs City Council meeting. Childers' daughter was on hand to receive the award.

Childers served on the Sand Springs City Council, Municipal Authority, Citizens' Water Study Committee, Planning Commission, and the Pogue Airport Advisory Board over several decades. He passed away in January of this year.

An early backer of the Keystone Ancient Forest campaign, Childers donated land to the conservation and has a trail named in his honor. The Childers family trust recently pledged to donate $7,500 for the naming rights to a visitors' center planned at the preserve. 

Municipal Judge Tom Askew administered the oath of office to Councilors Beau Wilson, Brian Jackson, and James Spoon, who were recently elected to three-year terms ending May 2021. 

Mike Burdge was unanimously reelected to a one-year term as Mayor for the thirteenth time since taking office in 1996. Phil Nollan was unanimously elected to his first one-year term as Vice Mayor. 

City Manager Elizabeth Gray presented each member of City Council with a small commemorative memento in recognition of their hard work. City Council is an elected volunteer position and members do not receive compensation. 

In other news:

Council unanimously approved $45,065.00 for the purchase and installation of a new Court Management software system at the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center, funded by a 2017 public safety bond.

Council unanimously approved $49,512.00 for the purchase of fifteen Noptic NV3 cameras with LED spotlights for police patrol cars, funded by a 2017 public safety bond.

Council unanimously approved $25,420.70 of public safety bond funds for the purchase of an IRecord Universe IP Turnkey Recording System. The system will be installed at the Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center interview rooms.

Council unanimously approved $137,715.21 of general obligation bond funding for the purchase of new Network Infrastructure and Firewall hardware.

Council unanimously approved a $190,332.00 agreement with Craig and Keithline for services relating to infrastructure planning at the Sheffield Crossing Development. 

Sand Springs City Council plans for major infrastructure, new commercial development

The former Gerdau steel mill is now prime commercial real estate being marketed by the City of Sand Springs.

The former Gerdau steel mill is now prime commercial real estate being marketed by the City of Sand Springs.

The City of Sand Springs moved forward with plans for a major expansion and improvement project on Main Street at Monday night's City Council Meeting.

The passage of Resolution No. 18-41 authorized the City to deposit $944,748 with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation as the City's 20% share of the project. 

The Design Agreement dates back to 2008 and the project will finally go to bid in August. Sand Springs Project Administrator T.J. Davis expects to see dirt work begin by the end of the year.

Main Street will be reconstructed from Third Street to its current terminus at 404 South Main Street, and will be extended west to a new intersection at Highway 97. 

A frontage road will also be constructed from Main Street to the Highway 412 on-ramp at Lincoln Avenue. 

Council also passed a resolution regarding the development of Sheffield Crossing, a plot of land recently purchased by the City with the goal of retail and commercial development. 

The eighteen-acre development is located West of Highway 97 between Morrow Road and the Arkansas River. Much of the land will be preserved with the goal of attracting a home improvement store such as Lowe's or Home Depot, but City leadership will consider other proposals in the meantime.

The passage of Ordinance No. 1316 declares the land as surplus and authorizes the City to sell the property at Council and Manager's discretion. 

Council also passed Ordinance No. 1317 declaring as surplus a fourteen-acre plot of land on the Southwest corner of 129th West Avenue and West Wekiwa Road, also with the goal of commercial development. 

In Other News: 

  • Council unanimously voted to reappoint Municipal Judge Michael King and Assistant Judges R. Jay McAtee and Thomas Askew to two-year terms. 
  • Council unanimously voted to reappoint Larry Johnston to a three-year term on the Board of Adjustment.
  • Council unanimously voted to reappoint Patty Dixon to a three-year term on the Planning Commission.
  • Council unanimously voted to reappoint Ronald Cloud to a three-year term on the Parks Advisory Board.
  • Council unanimously voted to cast votes for Ponca City Manager Craig Stephenson and Bartlesville City Manager Mike Bailey to serve on the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group Board of Trustees for a three-year term.
  • Council unanimously voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget.
  • Council unanimously approved the use of $293,177.00 for the purchase of new Public Safety software. The funding for the software comes from the passage of a November 2017 General Obligation Bond. The system will cover Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management, Mobile computing, Automatic Vehicle Location, Jail Management, Property and Evidence, and more. 
  • Council approved an ordinance requiring the spaying/neutering of dogs and cats over six months of age, with a hobbyist exemption for show animals. Hobbyists will be allowed to keep up to six unfixed animals on their property at a given time, with a $20 annual permit.
  • Council approved the final plat for Stone Crest Addition, a 14.726-acre subdivision on 41st Street across from Westwood Estates. 
  • Council approved a final payment of $52,642.14 to CMSWillowbrook for the installation of an LED light system under the Main Street overpass. The total cost for the project was finalized at $85,987.14. 

Sand Springs dedicates Inez Kirk park in honor of former City Manager

The City of Sand Springs rededicated the City-Garden Park at 101 East Broadway Street in honor of former City Manager Inez Kirk.

Kirk was the City Manager for Sand Springs from 1977 to 1986 and died in office on January 23, 1986.

Kirk's family and friends planted a pink rose bush in honor of her nickname, the Iron Rose. A group of more than thirty family members, friends, and former coworkers turned out to honor her and celebrated her life with her favorite candy, licorice. 

"This park is very special to me," said current City Manager Elizabeth Gray. "I came here and prayed before I went in for my interview (for City Manager)." 

"I remember what Sand Springs used to be compared to what it is today," said Mayor Mike Burdge. "Inez was very instrumental in changing the character and the integrity of government in Sand Springs. 

The Soccer Complex at Case Community Park was named in her honor for many years, but City leaders decided it would be more appropriate to recognize her with the park next door to the City Hall building she worked at. 

"Mom loved her family, and the people at City Hall were also her family. She loved each and every one," said Kirk's daughter, Pat McConnell. "Her passion was for this city. I can tell you that mom would be overwhelmed by the fact that the City has chosen to honor her like this, and she would be amazed at how many people still remember her and talk about her."

Sand Springs breaks ground on new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center

The City of Sand Springs broke ground on the new Billie A. Hall Public Safety Center Wednesday morning. 

The $10.7 million facility will house the north-side police and fire stations, 911 operations, a jail, and court rooms. It will be approximately 40,000 square feet and is located in the Sheffield Crossing development.

The facility is named for Sand Springs native Billie Allen Hall, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1966. A special forces medic, Hall was stationed at Camp A Shau when it was attacked by North Vietnamese regiments. After losing both legs to a mortar strike, Hall refused treatment and instead worked to treat other soldiers and coordinate medical efforts until he succumbed to his injuries. He was 26 years old at the time.

Hall has been honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1967 and inducted into the Sand Springs Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2007 the American Legion Post 17 in Sand Springs unanimously voted to rename the Post in his honor, and the organization continually works to have Hall awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. There is also a memorial dedicated to Hall at the local Woodland Cemetery.

Sand Springs Mayor Mike Burdge invoked President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, quoting, "We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract." 

"That's true of this property too," continued Burdge. "Every police officer and firefighter who enters this building will see and know the story of Billie Hall."

Burdge also celebrated the Sand Springs public safety forces, saying "we have one of the best police departments and fire departments in the (Tulsa) Metro Area."

Hall's widow, Janice Bellew, gave a heart-wrenching speech on her lost beloved. "We both grew up in the Widow's Colony...they were the first people we met when we moved in there."

"He would take the shirt off his back to give to anybody or help anybody out," she said through tears.

"He was three years old when his daddy died. My daughter was three years old when he died. It's just hard losing somebody. My daddy was killed in the Navy before I was born so I never got to know him. It's been a hard life for all of us, but you have to carry on.

"I remarried. I've got a son, two great grand kids. So we have a good life, even though I don't have Billie anymore that doesn't mean I've forgotten him. I lived too many years growing up with him."

City Manager Elizabeth Gray spoke briefly, saying "We want to thank the citizens for their vote of confidence that they gave us to do this. We want to thank the fire and police officers for bearing with us as we work to get them a facility they deserve." 

Police Chief Mike Carter expects the center to be completed in about a year. City officials have also discussed the possibility of a veterans' memorial on the grounds.