Edmond Exchange, July 1
Downtown mural is growing
The brightly colored mural in the alley on the east side of 100 N Broadway is expanding farther to the north as a partnership of the Edmond Visual Arts Commission and artist Zonly Looman and his late grandfather, Frederick Berg.
Looman has completed the first half of the mural, "Buffalo Off Broadway" located north of Hurd between Broadway and Boulevard. The second part of the mural, "The Herd Off Hurd," is now being painted by Looman, 23.
The newest section, along with signage, will cost $16,644 and the cost is being split with the Edmond Visual Arts Commission. The first part of the mural came with a $15,370 price tag that was also split between the commission and Berg, 97, who died in March after having a stroke.
Looman said his grandfather got to see his work on the first half of the mural before he died.
"I am going to dedicate my work to him," Looman said.
Municipal Judge Diane Slayton and Associate Municipal Judge Jerry Crabb were reappointed for another year to the city court system. Slayton, who has been with the city since July 1, 2009, will earn $60,548. Crabb has been with the city off and on since 1995. His annual salary is $25,430.
New fiscal year begins
Edmond starts the new fiscal year with an almost $272 million general fund budget, about 8.7 percent or $25.7 million less than the budget for the previous year that ended on Friday.
The general fund budget includes direct costs for all functions including special revenues, public works, capital projects and internal service funds.
Total uses, including direct expenses, transfers between funds and reserves for the fiscal year 2017-2018, total $446 million.
The budget decrease is primarily a result of reduced capital spending in the utility funds after initial up-front expenditures, said City Manager Larry Stevens. Edmond has started a five-year, $300 million water and wastewater capital improvement project to accommodate future population growth.
Council members this week approved agreements with 13 social service agencies and will spend $916,495 to help the groups.
Checking on the goals
City council members met this week to discuss goals and strategic planning and will meet again Oct. 28 to update goals for the new fiscal year. Current goals include development and repurposing of the former police department building and other city-owned buildings, implementation of capital improvement projects, completion of the hotel and conference center, revising Edmond Plan IV and implementation of the 2014 Downtown Master Plan.
The LibertyFest parade starts downtown at 9 a.m. Tuesday with more than 100 entries. The parade will be available on livestream at www.libertyfest.org.
Helicopter rides are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from the parking lot between Earl's Rib Palace and Edmond Furniture Gallery. Cost is $40.
ParkFest at UCO starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday with free watermelon while the supply lasts, along with music, contests and food. The fireworks show is at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on the UCO campus.
Taste of Edmond is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Festival Market Place. Tickets are $17; children 10 and younger get in free.
The first car out in the road rally is at 11 a.m. Sunday. Register and start at Earl's Rib Palace, 2121 S Broadway. The fee is $10 per vehicle. The awards ceremony is at 5 p.m.
For more information, go to www.libertyfest.org.
The Edmond Kiwanis Club will present High Expectations, a hot air balloon event and kid's carnival, from 4 p.m. to sunset Saturday on the west side of J.L. Mitch Park.
Reader Harris C. Shearer asked: "I own the property in the 800 block of S Santa Fe Drive near Sunset Elementary School and would like to know how some of the other properties along that drive were upgraded by the city and others were not. I was not offered to participate in getting sidewalks. Can you tell me how the city financed it when it was done and if there will be another opportunity in the future for those houses left out in the past?"
City Engineer Steve Manek answered: "The sidewalks in this area were constructed approximately 10 years ago. There were several homes in the area where a sidewalk was not able to be built due to conflicts with private improvements in the right of way installed by the homeowners. The city will keep track of any requests for new sidewalks, and as funding is available will continue to evaluate if they can be constructed."
Reader Mark Mehren asked: "A lot of us up here in Twin Bridges in Edmond want to know what all the dirt moving activity is, right across from the site of the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center construction. This would be the northwest corner of Sooner and Covell."
Planning Director Randy Entz answered: "That is the site for the new Crest Foods. A site plan for the 106,565-square-foot building, on the northwest corner of Sooner Road and Covell Road, was approved in May by the city's planning commission. The new grocery store is to be built on 16.72 acres with 747 parking spaces."