Firefighters take first
Edmond Fire Department won first place in a multistate hazardous materials competition at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Edmond also won first place in the same competition in 2013 where firefighters respond to a 90-minute scenario, like the hazmat situations they might encounter on the streets.
The four-day competition tested hazmat crews' skills and techniques. They were given six different scenarios, said Deputy Fire Chief Chris Denton.
"They worked hard," Denton said. "I think it shows a level of dedication."
Edmond has between 15 and 18 specially-trained hazmat members of the department.
"This is a special kind of work," Denton said. "They continue to educate themselves and this is part of it. We are really proud of them."
Quiet zone study
City council members Monday will consider a supplemental appropriation of $57,000 for funding of a study of railroad "quiet zones." City officials have talked about looking into adding "quiet zones" in Edmond for a number of years. A "quiet zone" is where safety improvements are installed or crossings are closed. Locomotive engineers would no longer have to blow their trains' horns as they travel through the zones. Engineers now blow the horns almost constantly through Edmond. Cutting out the horns is expected to draw more residential and commercial investment. City officials originally budgeted $200,000 for the project in the last fiscal year budget. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.
Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Bret Towne told members of the Edmond Economic Development Authority board of directors this week that Edmond continues to improve in the area of academic achievement.
"We have been able to raise the bar on academic achievement," Towne said. "Unofficially, we are anticipating over 50 national merit semifinalists this year."
Edmond's 130-square-mile school district that runs outside the city limits to Martin Nature Park in Oklahoma City to one mile on the other side of Arcadia to four miles into Logan County had 24,403 students on Oct. 5, 2016.
It's the third largest school district in the state according to population.
Said Towne, "In 20 years, we will be knocking on the high 30,000s or 40,000" in number of students.
Towne's number one concern is having enough "great, qualified teachers in each classroom."
One day last week Edmond lost five teachers from one high school to Texas and Kansas, the superintendent said.
"We are in competition with those people," Towne said. "Even though we pay more than the state minimum. We can't keep them. The number one issue is funding teachers."
New addition approved
Planning commissioners this week approved a preliminary plat for Dooley Creek, a single family housing addition to be built north of Edmond Road and west of Kelly Avenue. The proposed project is to build 107 houses on 40 acres with lots that are just over 6,000 square feet. Neighbors complained about the run off, flooding, the size of the lots, density and the amount of set back on the front of the lots. There is a large area that is a regulatory FEMA flood plain along the north side of the property on which nothing can be built. Bryan Coon, engineer for the project, assured the neighbors there would be no additional run off.
Bus riders down
Edmond public transportation system, Citylink, was down 27,517 riders for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Drivers counted 246,557 riders for the 12-month fiscal year. The route with the biggest drop was the one that serves the University of Central Oklahoma with 21,953 fewer riders. Edmond Public Transportation Committee members questioned if the fewer UCO numbers was due to a drop in international student enrollment on the Edmond campus.
It's a fact
Edmond schools served 2.1 million meals a year while 25.71 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced price meals. School buses travel two million miles in a year. The district has 2,776-plus employees to operate 17 elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools, Boulevard Academy and one early childhood center.
Reader Terry Phillips asked: "How is the trail going to connect to the trail by Fox Lake Lane? Also, will there be any traffic issues with trail walkers and automobiles coming or going from Fox Lake?"
Assistant City Manager Steve Commons answered: "The new trail connection we will be building will go down to the Spring Creek Trail adjacent to the frontage road as it descends down to the trail. This new trail will start on the north side of Fox Lake Lane. Currently, we have a trail path that follows along Fox Lake Lane to the west until it meets up with Fox Lake Lane. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will need to be aware of each other just like crossing at any intersection in the community when they need to cross Fox Lake Lane."
Reader Jan Curtis asked: "What is the very large building being constructed on 33rd Street just west of Kelly Avenue?"
Edmond Economic Development Authority Executive Director Janet Yowell answered: "That is the FedEx building, and it is in Oklahoma City."
Have questions about Edmond and its road construction, the hotel and conference center, traffic, new capital improvement projects or anything else? Email your questions to email@example.com. Edmond Exchange will find an answer.