Newkirk City Manager’s Report for July 2024

Ponca City Now - July 10, 2024 6:05 am

⮚ Greetings! We hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July. An update on the pool: the equipment we had been waiting nearly three months for finally arrived. The water crew has installed the new filter, sand, pump, motor and flow meter in the pool house. They have also installed new valves that feed and fill the pool. The parks crew has replaced the expansion joints and repaired cracks in the bottom of the pool and on the deck. The pool crew has painted the pool and bathrooms, and worked on cleaning to get ready to fill the pool and open. We are meeting this week with our pool vendor to ensure all equipment is either onsite or on order. Equipment on the way includes a new guard chair, deck lounge chairs, ladder, ladder bumpers, diving boards, and partitions in the locker rooms. The additional equipment on order will not prevent the pool from opening. We know citizens have waited a long time and we are excited about being able to open the pool this season.
⮚ Road Repairs. With the focus on getting the pool ready, the road repair projects have been on hold the past couple of weeks. There are still a number of alleys and areas that need patching. As the current projects are finishing up, more time will be dedicated to these efforts.
⮚ Public Works. City crews have continued working to repair leaks in town on Main, among others. There are additional quarterly water tests that have been completed and submitted, as well. On the wells, 1 and 3 have now been fully repaired and are in operation. Well 2 continues to function. We continue to monitor the wells closely. We are now operating at a higher capacity than ever before. My thanks to our vendors and the water crew for keeping water flowing as we completed repairs. Otherwise, as mentioned above, water has been busy with work on the pool. The electric department has continued work on tree trimming, and working with the water crew on getting the pool pump installed.
⮚ Emergency Services. Fire/EMS continue to be busy with ambulance runs and grass fires. Staff have also been renewing their licensure. Code Enforcement completed the second round of bids for properties needing mowed. That work is being completed now. The Police Department recently submitted a grant for equipment and additional vehicles. Our newest police officer begins training at the academy today. Additional department training is scheduled for August.
⮚ Staffing. The City is seeking an EMT/fire fighter. Other positions are being filled internally.
⮚ Donations, Grants & Projects. Work continues at the No. 1 Lift Station. The project is on schedule to reach substantial completion by the end of July. The tie-in to the line that heads out to the lagoon was completed last week. The contractor is working on getting the new lift station ready for switch over which is expected by mid-July. Demo of the current lift station will begin after the switch. The City continues to maintain contact with the engineer on the lagoons project as we wait on DEQ’s review. The splashpad is still pending, waiting on the pool project to finish first. The sidewalks project is still planned for 2026. The City met with Kaw Tribal Housing and Rural Water #5 on possible future building projects. The City also met with Xpress Bill Pay on moving utility bills online. Xpress is working up a cost estimate based on the last fiscal year’s billing.
⮚ Financials. The end of June saw the end of the City’s fiscal year. For the month, revenue was up 8.0% compared to June 2023. Expenses were down 16.7% for the month compared to June 2023. For the fiscal year as a whole, revenue finished down just 4.7%, an improvement from 5.6% the previous month. Expenses also finished down 8.7% for the fiscal year, holding steady. Total revenue remained above total expenses for the year. Department budgets are currently 6.2% under budget for the year as we wait for final invoices to come in so the fiscal year can officially be closed out.
⮚ Events. The first day of school is coming up on August 14th. Looking further ahead, city offices will be closed Monday, September 2nd for Labor Day. Charlie Adams’ Day will be held Friday, September 13th, and Saturday, September 14th.
Ryan Smykil
Newkirk City Manager

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