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Edmond Exchange for Oct. 1

Mental illness needs

Eileen Morefield, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Edmond-North Oklahoma City affiliate, this week told city council members that emergency services for the mentally ill are inadequate in Edmond.

Morefield urged council members to establish the city's own crisis center or mental health urgent care center.

"If that can't happen, then I suggest that an on-call psychiatrist or psychologist be established at each hospital," Morefield said. "These are only two suggestions to improve care."

She said one in four or five adults experiences mental illness. In a city the size of Edmond, that means more than 20,000 people are in need of help.

Morefield and her husband, Ken, were at the meeting to accept a proclamation recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week, which begins Saturday.

"Although we do have psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors here in Edmond," Morefield said, "the emergency services for our loved ones leave a lot to be desired."

At 7 p.m. Tuesday an event, "Shine the Light on Mental Illness," will be held at Festival Market Place. Violinist Kyle Dillingham will perform and there will be testimony from people who have done well despite having mental illness.

People are urged to go to www.nami.org/stigmafree to make a pledge to learn more about mental illness and take action on mental health issues.

Free trees

The Edmond Urban Forestry Department will give away 85 three-gallon trees to Edmond residents at E.C. Hafer Park starting at noon Wednesday in the large parking lot at the northeast corner of Bryant Avenue and Ninth Street. People must show an Edmond utility bill to pick up one tree per household on a first-come, first-served basis. Available species include autumn blaze maple, Shumard oak, baldcypress and Muskogee crape myrtle. For information about tree planting, go to edmondok.com/trees. The trees are provided by the Tree Bank Foundation as part of the Great Tree Giveaway program. This is the ninth tree distribution by the city since 2009.

City open house on Thursday

Edmond Electric and Edmond Water Resources will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Cross Timbers Public Service Center, just east of Covell Road and Interstate 35.

This year's event will include children's safety demonstrations, bucket truck rides, backhoe bowling and lineman rescue demonstrations.

Canned goods and personal hygiene donations will be collected for the Project 66 Food Pantry. Items can be dropped off at the T-shirt tent.

T-shirts and refreshments will be given away. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority. Booths will provide information about city programs and services.

The family-friendly event will feature displays and booths from University of Central Oklahoma athletics and many of the city departments.

Arcadia Lake park bid approved

City council members this week accepted a nearly $1.6 million contract to start phase one of construction on the Carl Reherman Park at Arcadia Lake.

The contract went to Downey Contracting. The first round of bids was rejected because the bids came in over budget. This is the first new park to be added to the 1,820-acre Arcadia Lake since it was created in 1984.

The park will be a seasonal park open only in the peak usage times of the year, said Craig Dishman, parks and recreation director.

The new area will be a day park on the south end of the lake with picnic spots, a fishing pier, boat ramp and parking. It will be constructed in phases and will be the fifth park at the lake, Dishman said.

The roadway into the park from 33rd Street and Air Depot Boulevard already has been constructed.

Plans are to start building the park by the end of the year.

The park was named after former Edmond Mayor Carl Reherman. He said having a park at Arcadia Lake named in his honor gave him the strength to survive before his 2007 liver transplant.

Carl Reherman served five terms as mayor and was instrumental in the city's partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create Arcadia Lake during the 1980s. He took to the groundbreaking a hard hat that was given to him when the lake was being built.

It's a fact

Residential building permits this year have dropped 25.74 percent when compared to the same period in 2015. The numbers have dropped from 373 last year to 277 this year. In August, 29 residential building permits were issued with an average value of $350,347. Last year in August, 51 residential building permits were purchased.

What's happening

Rodkey House Event and Education Annex open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 410 S Littler Ave.

Edmond Planning Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 20 S Littler Ave.

Need Answers?

Have questions about Edmond, its roadwork, the hotel and conference center, traffic or capital improvements? Email Diana Baldwin at dbaldwin@oklahoman.com.

Follow Diane Baldwin on Twitter @Edmond_beat.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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