Sales tax money positive
Edmond sales tax collections for the first 11 months of the fiscal year are 16.7 percent above what was received during the same period two years ago.
City officials calculated this year’s budget using collection figures from two years ago. They think last year’s figures were elevated because of roof repairs and large, one-time purchases.
They included a 6 percent growth in this year’s budget.
“Our very positive trend continues with the 11th check of the fiscal year,” said City Manager Larry Stevens.
Finance officials revised this year’s budget after sales tax collections continued to come in above projected numbers.
Ross VanderHamm, city finance director, said this fiscal year’s budget was boosted 7.41 percent.
For the 3.75 percent city sales tax, Edmond has collected $55,131,502 so far this fiscal year.
Edmond has collected $16 million from a half-cent sales tax to build the new public safety center complex. More than $13,888 in interest also has been received.
Collection of the half-cent tax started in April 2013 and will last for five years.
Don’t worry yet
Trees are a little late leafing this year because of freezing temperatures experienced in early spring, Edmond urban forestry officials said.
The cold temperatures caused buds to break on many trees which caused delays.
If there is a question whether the tree is alive, try slightly bending the twigs. Live twigs should be somewhat flexible, while dead twigs will be brittle and most likely snap in half.
Also observe the bud. These will swell as the tree prepares to unfurl its leaves, they said.
Edmond’s Urban Forestry department manages public trees, street median landscaping and landscape ordinance administration. The department also offers private tree assessments. The Urban Forestry Department strives to improve the health and benefits of the city’s urban forest through several programs.
Check out the department’s programs at edmondok.com.
Finish coming soon
Construction to widen Kelly Avenue, between Covell and Coffee Creek roads, is expected to be finished in early summer, just in time for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Golf Tournament at Oak Tree National.
Construction started in July 2013 with the closing of Kelly, one of the busier streets in Edmond, for 125 days while a new bridge was constructed just south of Coffee Creek Road across from the Coffee Creek Golf Course.
Contractors finished laying the concrete for the northbound traffic lanes and started pouring the concrete for the southbound traffic lanes.
The $5.9 million project is being widened to a four-lane divided roadway with left turn lanes at all public streets and a traffic signal light at Kelly and Prairie Village Drive, which will be a new entrance to J.L. Mitch Park, Mathis Skate Park and Cheyenne Middle School, said Tom Minnick, city traffic planner.
Five-foot-wide sidewalks are planned on both sides of Kelly.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will pay 80 percent of the cost. The city of Edmond will pick up the remaining 20 percent. Money from the city will come from a special sales tax approved in 2000 for capital improvements.
Police against firefighters
The second annual “Battle of the Brave,” a John Werhun benefit baseball game, is scheduled for June 1 at Edmond North High School. The game between the Edmond Police Department and the city’s fire department begins at 1:30 p.m.
The benefit baseball game is for the family of the late fire Capt. John Werhun, who died last year at the age of 42 after a five-year battle with cancer.
Edmond’s three high schools will hold graduation ceremonies Saturday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. Edmond North High School is at 10 a.m. followed by Santa Fe High School at 2 p.m. Memorial High School commencement is at 6 p.m. More than 1,600 seniors will graduate.
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