City sales tax receipts grow
Edmond's July sales tax check was 17.21 percent higher than projected.
The check for $4,992,418 was the first for the fiscal year that started July 1. It represents the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June.
“We are off to a great start,” City Manager Larry Stevens said.
A 6 percent growth in sales tax revenue is projected in this year's budget.
“Even though this initial month was almost three times above our projection for the year, we believe that this percentage will be more moderate over the full year,” Stevens said.
Storm damage costs not known
Calculation of the exact dollar amount of damage Edmond received in the May 19 tornado may never be complete because of the number of insured homeowners and businesses whose property was damaged, said Matt Stillwell, the city's emergency management director.
No one was reported injured in the Sunday afternoon tornado that hit southeast Edmond and damaged 11 homes and Mercy Edmond I-35, an $88 million medical complex and wellness center still under construction.
Mercy's complex was expected to open this month. Extensive tornado damage delayed the opening for at least another year. Mercy officials said they do not have a dollar damage estimate.
Three houses received major damage. Two were in Thornebrook, between 33rd and 15th streets off Bryant Avenue, Stillwell said. Eight houses received minor damage. Roof damage and uprooted trees were seen throughout the city.
Damage from the tornado that can be calculated and will be turned over to FEMA for reimbursement is between $400,000 and $500,000. Damage to privately insured property is not reported to the city and is not eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
The cost to the city to haul away debris left by the storm was $125,000. Edmond Electric spent between $250,000 and $300,000 to repair the city's electrical system.
Park system expansive
Edmond has nearly 800 acres of developed park land and more than 700 acres of nature-based parks at Arcadia Lake.
Edmond has 26 parks in its system. The city also owns Pelican Bay Aquatic Center and eight sports complexes. There are seven trails covering 14 miles throughout the city and six trails at Arcadia Lake.
The city has adopted a new parks and recreation master plan, which will help provide direction for balancing the park system throughout the community. The plan can be found at www.edmondok.com.
Foster trees up for grabs
Edmond is giving away 80 trees as part of the Foster-A-Tree Program. The deadline to sign up is Aug. 31.
Residents who live within the Edmond city limits on a publicly maintained street can sign up to have a tree planted in the street right of way adjacent to their property.
Register at www.edmondok.com/foster.
The Edmond City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Mondays. The bimonthly meeting is at 20 S Littler Ave.
Police switch to BMW bikes
Seven new BMW police motorcycles are now on Edmond streets, a change from the Harley-Davidson motorcycles the department owned in the past.
Each of the motorcycles is equipped with all the latest police gear, including an AR-15 rifle.
Police officials spent $177,125 for the motorcycles. The bikes cost $25,304 each.
Chief Bob Ricks said, “Harley-Davidson met our needs for years and everyone wanted to ride Harley-Davidsons.”
Harley-Davidson for years offered a warranty where police could replace the bikes annually for $150, the chief said. That policy changed because of the economic downtown and police had to re-evaluate their options for the motorcycle officers.
“We found the BMW is the best-engineered and had the best maintenance cost,” Ricks said. “Because of long-term costs, we have to make changes.”
Edmond officers test-drove the BMW motorcycles and talked to officers at other agencies, such as the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who ride the BMW model.
“For the safety of the officer, this is the best bike on the road,” Ricks said.
The Harley-Davidson motorcycles, purchased in 2009, are being sold. The chief said he hopes to make $60,000 on the bikes, which have been ridden between 10,000 and 18,000 miles.
Edmond switched to Harley-Davidsons in 2006 when Kawasaki stopped making police motorcycles.
By Diana Baldwin, Staff Writer