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Edmond Exchange, a weekly wrap-up of what is going on in Edmond, for Jan. 21

An artist's drawing shows an upscale lifestyle center proposed to be built north of Spring Creek Plaza, 15th Street and Bryant Avenue. A contract is pending on the sale of Spring Creek Plaza which would be part of the proposed lifestyle center. [DRAWING PROVIDED]

An artist's drawing shows an upscale lifestyle center proposed to be built north of Spring Creek Plaza, 15th Street and Bryant Avenue. A contract is pending on the sale of Spring Creek Plaza which would be part of the proposed lifestyle center. [DRAWING PROVIDED]

Signatures verified

Signatures on referendum petitions calling for a vote on the proposed Shops at Spring Creek have been counted and verified. City council members are expected to vote at 5:30 p.m. Monday whether to schedule a citywide election for April 4.

The petitions each needed 691 signatures to call for a vote of the people. One petition had 817 signatures and the second had 815, said City Clerk Kory Atcuson.

The proposed lifestyle center would be built just north of 15th Street on Bryant Avenue. More than 300 living units are planned, with parking for residents to be underground. It would feature about 50 new retailers, a boutique theater and a specialty grocery store.

The developer, Poag Shopping Centers of Memphis, has a contract to buy Spring Creek Plaza and wants to buy the 26 acres to the north to expand into the lifestyle center. City council members on Nov. 14 amended the land use plan and rezoned the property.

Opponents of the project circulated the referendum petitions, asking for the people to vote on the two requests. They object to the project because of additional traffic, the number of proposed apartments and the effect on E.C. Hafer Park.

No fare recommended

Members of the Edmond Public Transportation Committee have recommended that rides continue to be free on Citylink, the city's public bus system. After a lengthy study about whether to begin charging people to ride the bus, city staffers recommended against a change from free rides on any public transit route. City council members will make the final decision.

If fares are initiated, said Susan Miller, city public transit coordinator, substantial money could be made after expenses, resulting in the possible loss of Federal Transit Administration funding.

Sales taxe revenues still down

Edmond's sales tax collection check for this fiscal year is 1.9 percent below the city's zero growth budget projections, slightly better than the cumulative 2.19 percent total a month ago.

"It was a little better this month," said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons. "We want to get back to zero."

The January check is for collections from the last two weeks of November and the first half of December. This month's check for Edmond's 3.75 percent sales tax was for $5.38 million.

This year's $297 million budget was calculated without any growth added.

"We are doing fine; look at other cities," said City Manager Larry Stevens.

Bus stop works begins

Contractors will begin installing 99 ADA-compliant bus stops Monday along Citylink routes.

“One of the key reasons for installing bus stops is to assist with traffic flow,” said Susan Miller, public transit coordinator. “The designated stops for pickup and dropoff should eliminate some of the traffic issues caused previously by frequent and unstructured stops.”

Drivers should expect lane closures to allow for the pouring of concrete. Parathon Construction will be paid $226,362 for the project.

It's a fact

The Edmond Historical Society & Museum building was built in 1936 as the Armory of the 179th Infantry, 45th Division of the Oklahoma National Guard. The native sandstone building was built by the Works Progress Administration. After the war, the building served as a roller skating rink, community center, Edmond All Sports Offices, parks and recreation offices and meeting hall before it became the museum in 1983. The building was named to the National Register of Historic Places on March 14, 1991. The building is being renovated. Plans are to begin installing new windows on Monday.

What's happening

The city council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave. The economic development authority board meets at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday at 825 E Second Street, Suite 200.

Need answers?

Reader Julia Burns asked: "Do you know if there is any discussion about changing traffic lights so that they all include a 'yield on green' left turn option? Where they have them it seems to alleviate a lot of traffic backup, and would save a lot of pollution from cars sitting much too long at traffic stops. Other cities are way ahead of Edmond on the number of lights with that option."

City Engineer Steve Manek answered: "This is being addressed with each new phase of the ITS (intelligent transportation system) with the flashing yellow for the turning traffic. However, not every intersection in the city is appropriate for this turning movement due to volume or geometric issues."

Reader John Prem asked: "I have been following the Walmart and Edmond City Council saga. Do you know if Edmond City Council has responded to the judge's decision?"

City Attorney Steve Murdock answered: "The city appealed the judge's decision. The appeal is pending before the Court of Civil Appeals."

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

Follow Diana 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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