Edmond Exchange, Feb. 18
More money needed
The Edmond Convention and Visitors Bureau staff and advisory board has requested from the city council an additional $123,921 for next fiscal year to help with operations and with moving expenses to the new conference center. That's where the bureau will be housed when the conference center is completed this year.
The request includes one additional employee at a salary of $51,921, along with $40,000 for furniture and a software program. The visitors bureau is operated by Cathy Williams-White and she now has two staff members.
Williams-White said advisory board member J.W. Armstrong donated some furniture for the new offices.
Other expenses would be $30,000 for sales and marketing and $2,000 for miscellaneous expenses.
Over a five-year period, Williams-White estimated, her additional expenses would be $351,653.
The visitors bureau operates on the city's hotel/motel tax. This year's budget is $479,000.
"This is a small investment in the future," said Ken Moore, Convention and Tourism Advisory Board chairman.
Council members asked the city staff to work on finding the money to help the visitors bureau.
Ice skating numbers
The holiday outdoor ice skating rink this year had a 4 percent increase in paid attendance, with 8,740 visitors, City Manager Larry Stevens said. This was the third season for the rink to be operated at J.L. Mitch Park.
The start of construction of left-turn lanes on Covell Road at Santa Fe Avenue and Bryant Avenue intersections is getting closer.
City Manager Larry Stevens said relocation of the utilities should be completed by mid-March. The current plan is to advertise for bids on Thursday and open the bids on March 17.
Both are considered short-term improvements, because Covell Road is expected to be turned into a four-lane parkway throughout the city.
The two projects are estimated to cost $1.5 million and will be paid from a special tax approved in 2000 for capital improvements.
Presidents Day closings
City offices will be closed on Monday for Presidents Day. Trash collection will remain as scheduled.
New grocery store
Plans are in the works for a new Crest Foods to be built near Covell and Sooner roads and to the west of the hotel and conference center now under construction. J.W. Armstrong, who is selling the land to the grocery store chain, said it is expected to be one of Crest's finest stores and offer plenty of parking.
Also planned for that intersection is a new convenience store, to the south of the grocery store. The store is expected to be modeled after one at MacArthur Boulevard and Memorial Road in Oklahoma City. Paperwork has not been filed with the city at this time.
Sales tax revenues still down
Edmond's sales tax collection check for this fiscal year is 1.94 percent below the city's zero growth budget projections.
"The eighth check of our fiscal year reflects the first decrease we have had for several months, although the decrease is very slight," said City Manager Larry Stevens.
The February check is for collections from the last two weeks of December and the first half of January.
This month's check for Edmond's 3.75 percent sales tax was for $5.36 million.
This year's $297 million budget was calculated without any growth added.
"We're still doing just fine with sales tax," Stevens said.
Edmond voters this week overwhelmingly approved an $111 million school bond package. This is the 58th consecutive time Edmond voters have approved an annual bond election to make improvements to the public school system. School board member Kathleen Duncan also held on to her District No. 2 seat in the Tuesday election. Duncan will start her fourth five-year term on the five-member board.
It's a fact
Everett Bradbury established Bradbury Station in 1923, located near the southwest corner of the now intersection of Second Street and Interstate 35. This original site consisted of a one-acre plot which had been obtained in June 1923. The station moved in 1925 to the larger 2.5-acre northwest corner. The station closed when the construction of Interstate 35 began in 1953, according to the Edmond Historical Society & Museum.
Capital Improvement Projects Advisory Board will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday at 10 S Littler Ave.
Edmond Planning Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 20 S Littler Ave.
Reader Joyce Boatsman asked: "We've been wondering what is going on with the project on the southeast corner of 33rd Street and Bryant Avenue. This project was started over a year ago, with little activity for months, other than moving a little dirt around."
Planning Director Randy Entz answered: "The developer of the Shoppes of Cheyenne is working through some site issues and the city is reviewing development plans as they are made available."
Have questions about Edmond, its roadwork, traffic or capital improvements? Email Diana Baldwin at email@example.com.
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