City Commission Repeals Mask Mandate
Mike Seals - April 14, 2021 11:16 pm
The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on April 12, 2021. Mayor Homer Nicholson called the meeting to order, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance.
Ceremonies and Proclamations
Under Ceremonies and Proclamations, a Fair Housing Proclamation was presented by Mayor Nicholson to Development Services Director Chris Henderson and the April Character Trait of Cooperation was introduced.
Under the Consent Agenda, the City Commission approved the minutes of the regular session held March 22, 2021; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City; a resolution amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2020-21; a permit to conduct a fireworks display at West Lake Ponca Dam on July 4, 2021 and authorizing the Mayor to execute a pyrotechnical production contract for the event with Western Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $30,000.
The City Commission also approved the City Manager’s action taken on renewing a contract with HCC LIFE for individual and aggregate re-insurance on the City’s health insurance benefit plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. Premier Consulting solicited quotes for the annual re-insurance on individual and aggregate coverage of the City’s health insurance benefit plan. Premier Consulting secured quotes from the incumbent company as well as five others.
The incumbent carrier, HCC Life, was the best bid. Staff recommended continuing coverage with HCC Life for individual stop loss coverage at the $300,000 deductible point and aggregate coverage where bid. At the current census this would cost $192,688 for Fiscal Year 2021-22, a total annual increase of $4,051.76.
City Manager’s Report
Spring Cleanup is underway thru April 17 for Ponca City residents. Solid Waste crews will pick up most trash and haul it away, or residents can haul it to the landfill themselves and get rid of it for free. Crews will pick up any extra items placed in your regular pickup area EXCEPT the following: poisons, acids, and caustics; car batteries; explosives; body wastes; large bulky objects such as automobile frames; tires, items or materials containing freon, PCB, etc.; items that could cause damage to collection equipment or personal injury to collectors; dirt, rocks, concrete and other debris resulting from construction or demolition; dead animals, animal excreta, etc. that has not been wrapped and tightly sealed in moisture proof wrapping; logs greater than 8 inches in diameter and longer than 4 feet or weighing more than 75 pounds; brush that is not bundled, longer than 4 feet in length and weighing more than 75 pounds; and containers larger than 35 gallons.
At the Landfill, citizens must show a current PCUA (Ponca City Utility Authority) Utility Bill with trash service. The address on the PCUA bill and their driver’s license must match. In an effort to discourage unauthorized commercial dumping, vehicles larger than a pickup or trailer will be charged standard landfill fees. There is a limit of 6 loads per resident. Loads are defined as: a pickup bed is one load, a pickup bed and a single axle trailer is two loads; and a pickup bed and double axle trailer is three loads. Trees, brush, construction debris, etc. may be disposed of by calling 767-0411 for a special pickup. Special pickups carry a minimum charge of $39.09 and could be more depending on quantity and items for disposal.
With spring finally here and summer right around the corner, News 9 will be airing “Oklahoma’s Own Originals: Trips on a Tankful” on April 14 at 8:00 p.m. to showcase local and regional destinations that are only a tankful away. They will make stops in Oklahoma, as well as Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. Ponca City will be shown during this event, including the Marland Mansion and Estate. Ponca City is one of the sponsors and along with two commercial spots during the hour-long show.
Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget Hearings will be held in the Commission Chamber of City Hall on Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 20.
Ponca City Main Street will kick-off the mural project on the downtown grain elevator on Earth Day, April 22, weather permitting. The project is anticipated to take 1 ½ months per side or a total of three months, depending on the weather.
Last year, the City Commission approved funding $49,000 of hotel/motel tax funds towards the $100,000 project to paint the mural on the grain elevator. The mural is being painted by well-known Oklahoma mural artist Rick Sinnett, and the mural is comprised of two pieces of art on the grain elevator, a butterfly mandala on the west side and a painting entitled The Oklahoma Sunset on the east side.
American Red Cross lifeguard certification training will be held at the Ponca City RecPlex from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. The training course is for ages 15 years and older and the cost is $150.00 per participant. Registration is available online thru April 19 at: www.poncacityok.gov/parksandrec-registration.
The 5K Color Blast Fun Run will be held Saturday, May 8 at 9:00 a.m. at the RecPlex Outdoor Walking Track. Color blast runs are a fun way to experience a 5K race with friends and family, while being outdoors enjoying the sunshine and spring weather.
Enrollees registered by April 23 will receive a race shirt that is perfect to wear as you run through five various color stages. This event is for all ages and the cost is $15.00 per participant. Registration is available online thru April 23 at: www.poncacityok.gov/parksandrec-registration
Stephenson concluded his report by reminding everyone that all Oklahomans are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Registration for a vaccination appointment can be made using the OSDH link: https://vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.
Some local pharmacies are also scheduling appointments. Cimarron Transit is providing free in-town rides to assist citizens wanting the COVID-19 vaccine. Citizens must reside in Ponca City and have an appointment scheduled. All rides are subject to availability. Please contact the Cimarron Transit Ride Line at 580-718-0444.
Under New Business, the City Commission approved an ordinance amending the City Code by repealing Section 6-1-10 and removing the ordinance requiring the wearing of protective face coverings indoors during a public health emergency within the City of Ponca City; repealing Ordinances in conflict; providing for severability; and declaring an emergency.
In March of 2020, a proclamation was declared establishing a public health emergency within the City of Ponca City due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In December of 2020, the City Commission approved an Ordinance requiring the wearing of face coverings in public places. Included in that Ordinance was a section that allowed for the repeal of the Ordinance in its entirety upon a majority vote of the City Commission. A business would still be able to require individuals accessing their place of business to wear a mask, and if they refuse to comply they can be trespassed if the business desires.
The City Commission also approved a resolution establishing a goal for the Northern Oklahoma Regional Animal Care Facility As A No-Kill Operation By December 31, 2025. Ponca City Animal Control has relocated into its new location, the Northern Oklahoma Regional Animal Care Facility, at 705 E. Hubbard Road. This new location and renovation provides a venue much more visible and inviting to the public, therefore increasing awareness in the community.
Over the past few years, the relationship between the City Animal Control Division, the Ponca City Human Society as well as several animal rescue services in the area have significantly reduced the number of dogs and cats being euthanized. This resolution establishes a goal for the Northern Oklahoma Regional Animal Care Facility to qualify as a No-Kill operation by December 31, 2025. No-Kill communities are those that save 90% or more of the adoptable dogs and cats coming through their facilities.
During 2020, Animal Control handled 665 dogs and 515 cats, released 558 dogs and 217 cats, and euthanized 107 dogs and 298 cats, resulting in an 83.9% release rate for dogs and a 42.1% release rate for cats. This resolution will further strengthen the partnership between the City of Ponca City, Northern Oklahoma Humane Society and other animal rescues, in addition to putting the City and all rescues in a position for potential grant funding and other programs that can help save more animals.
The City Commission conducted an executive session for the purposes of conferring on matters pertaining to economic development upon finding that the matter to be discussed would interfere with the development of products or services or public disclosure would violate the confidentiality of the business; for the confidential communication between the Commission and its attorney on pending litigation that public disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the Commission to litigate in the public interest; and for purposes of discussing negotiations with the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Fraternal Order of Police. No action was taken.
PONCA CITY UTILITY AUTHORITY
Under the PCUA, the trustees voted to approve the consent agenda which included the minutes of the regular session held March 22, 2021; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the PCUA; a resolution of the PCUA amending the operating budget of various PCUA funds for Fiscal year 2020-21; an acknowledgement receipt of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality construction permit for the construction of 236 linear feet of 6-inch PVC potable waterline for the Ponca City Starbucks waterline extension at 2810 North 14 Street, and an acknowledgement receipt of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality construction permit for the construction of 230 linear feet of 8-inch PVC sanitary sewer line for the Ponca City Starbucks sewer line extension at 2810 North 14 Street.