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Edmond Exchange, Feb. 25

Doug Hall, Edmond Fire Chief

Doug Hall, Edmond Fire Chief

Fire chief search starts

Search for a new Edmond fire chief started this week with the first meeting of a 10-member group selected by City Manager Larry Stevens to help find a replacement for retiring Fire Chief Doug Hall.

The group is made up of five people from the community and five staff members.

The search is for an important position and process for the community, Stevens said.

"We will be conducting a national search, and I anticipate there will be both internal and external candidates to consider," Stevens said.

Community members are Myron Pope, University of Central Oklahoma vice-president of student affairs; Peggy Geib, Francis Tuttle Career Technology assistant superintendent; Barry Moore, Edmond Planning Commission chairman; Janet Yowell, Edmond Economic Development Authority executive director; and Chris Goodwin, Oklahoma City Fire Department deputy chief.

Staff members are Lisa Goodpasture, city's human resource director; Steve Murdock, city attorney; Tim Dorsey, interim police chief; Matt Stillwell, city's Public Safety Communications director and Stevens.

Hall has been the fire chief since Feb. 11, 2015. He is retiring March 31 from his $121,637-a-year job.

Hall has 27 years' experience with the Edmond Fire Department. He served as battalion chief from 2009 until 2015, captain from 2002 and 2009 and apparatus driver from 1999 to 2002. He also spent time as a major, fire prevention specialist and two stints as a firefighter.

Roadwork update

Work to resurface a portion of Santa Fe Avenue will begin Monday and is expected to take about two weeks with good weather. Work will take place from Edmond Road to Pebble Creek Boulevard, 2,000 feet north of Danforth Road. The road will remain open during this time, but traffic will be reduced to one lane each direction. Drivers should expect delays and are encouraged to find an alternate route if possible. This resurfacing is part of the scheduled 2016-2017 mill and overlay projects for the city. Contractor Markwell Paving is being paid almost $2 million for these projects.

Project ratings

Capital Improvement Project Advisory Board vice chairman Rob Fagnant this week proposed a rating system to help prioritize how projects will be started using the half-cent sales tax that was approved for 10 years for capital improvements.

"I think it would help us maximize tax dollars if we could accurately and repeatedly articulate what factors are important and how important each one is," Fagnant said.

The advisory board will consider the proposed rating system at its March 21 meeting.

"This would be something more than an eye test," Fagnant said. "We don't want to get locked down. It was never meant to not have flexibility."

The rating system considers factors, for example: existing capital asset, public health and safety, public benefit and public demand. Each of the 11 categories is assigned a maximum score of 10 to 20.

Traffic hot spots

Results of the city's recent, two-week traffic study where people voted on their top three traffic hot spots were released Friday. About 9,600 valid responses were submitted. “We are very happy to see a strong response to this questionnaire from our residents,” said City Manager Larry Stevens. “This data will be used to assist in planning and we certainly value the residents having input in the planning process. To see the map, go to edmondok.com/traffic.

Top 10 locations are:

•Second Street and Bryant Avenue

•Covell Road and Santa Fe Avenue

•Second Street, Boulevard to Broadway

•Covell Road and Bryant Avenue

•Danforth Road and Kelly Avenue

•Edmond Road and Kelly Avenue

•15th Street and Broadway

•15th Street and Bryant Avenue

•Danforth Road, from Thomas Drive to Boulevard

•15th Street and Kelly Avenue

Need answers?

Reader James L. McKay asked: "What are the plans for extending the Interstate 35 overhead lights north from Second Street to Covell Road or maybe even Waterloo Road?

Lisa Shearer-Salim, Oklahoma Department of Transportation public information manager, answered: "There is no official request from the city of Edmond at this time to install streetlights along this section of Interstate 35. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation works closely with cities and counties when construction projects provide an opportunity to potentially add highway lighting because municipalities power and maintain the lights. If someone is interested in seeing lights along this section of the I-35 corridor they would need to work through the city of Edmond to make an official request to the department.

"Design plans are not far enough along yet to know whether highway lighting will be included in the upcoming $28 million interchange reconstruction at I-35 and Waterloo Road, which is tentatively scheduled for Fiscal Year 2022. Oklahoma and Logan counties have agreed to maintain the traffic signals and lighting needed on Waterloo Road for the proposed diverging diamond interchange. I-35 highway lighting will be one of the items evaluated as the design for the interchange progresses."

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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