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Board of Commissioners Regular Session Held Monday Night

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The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on February 14, 2022. Mayor Homer Nicholson called the meeting to order, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. Commissioners Bodick, Chapman, Scott and Taylor were in attendance.

Ceremonies and Proclamations

Under Ceremonies and Proclamations, the character trait of Attentiveness was introduced for the month of February.

Consent Agenda

Under the Consent Agenda, the City Commission approved the minutes of the Ponca City Board of Commissioners regular session held January 24, 2022; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City; and a resolution amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2021-22.

City Manager’s Report

Under the City Manager’s Report, City Manager Craig Stephenson reported that Ponca Politics will be held on Friday, February 25, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.in the Commission Chamber of City Hall; the Ponca City Library’s Adult Winter Read Challenge has started; and registration for Red Cross lifeguard certification training is underway.

Stephenson reported that Spring Cleanup will be held March 19 thru March 26 for Ponca City residents. Solid Waste crews will pick up most trash and haul it away, or residents can haul it to the landfill themselves and get rid of it for free. The annual City-Wide Garage Sale will be held on Saturday, March 19. For this one day only the City will waive the regular requirements for a garage sale. The $5.00 permit will not be required, and the garage sale will not be counted toward the yearly limit of two. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Saturday, March 26.

Stephenson also reported that due to local drought conditions, the Kay County Commission voted to implement a county-wide burn ban. The burn ban is in effect until February 28 and prohibits camp fires, bon fires, and the burning of trash. Outdoor cooking using a gas or charcoal grille is permissible, but any uncontrolled fire resulting from such permissible usage will be considered illegal.

Stephenson concluded, by reporting that a mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held February 17, 2022 for Ponca City Broadband Phases 4 and 5. Bids will be opened March 3, 2022.

Public Hearings

After conducting a public hearing, the City Commission approved an ordinance zoning the real property located north of the 100-200 Block of East Prospect Avenue, from R-1 Single Family Residential to RA Rural Residential and C-2 General Commercial, and directed the Development Services Director to change the official zoning map of the City accordingly and directed the City Clerk to file of record. The undeveloped 60-acre parcel of land is located on the north side of East Prospect Avenue and west of Atwoods Farm and Ranch store. The applicant purchased the land with the intent of developing a very low-density residential subdivision along with a commercial parcel fronting on Prospect Avenue. The preliminary plat of “Hatfield Acres” was approved by the Planning Commission at their regularly scheduled meeting on February 1, 2022. The current zoning pattern along the Prospect Avenue corridor includes commercial nodes at the intersection of Union Street and a second cluster further east, near the intersection of the BNSF railroad tracks, that includes the Atwoods site. The remainder of the corridor is zoned residential on both sides of the street, but the south side has been developed as established residential neighborhoods. The property is identified in the City’s Master Plan as suitable for future residential growth, but the location is at the furthest reach of the City’s public sewer system and the “lay of the land” will not permit the extension of a gravity sewer system any further north without the construction of a new lift station. Therefore, any residential development will be low density and the zoning petition and preliminary plat were consistent with the growth policies contained in the City’s Master Plan. In summation, the zoning proposal was reasonable, considering the existing and future area land use and zoning patterns.

A second public hearing was conducted and the City Commission approved an ordinance amending Title 10, Chapter 1 and Chapter 5 of the City Code of Ponca City, entitled “Building Codes and Regulations,” providing for the adoption of the 2018 edition of the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, and International Fire Code; providing for repealer, codification, and severability; and setting an effective date. Historically, the City has updated its building codes every three years, as they become available and in print from the ICC (International Code Council.) These Codes apply to the construction, remodel and additions to residential and commercial buildings and structures. Until 2009, the State of Oklahoma had minimal oversight or control over a local community’s ability to adopt the Codes as they see fit. In 2009, a state agency was created by statute whose purpose was to adopt a uniform building code to be administered by each and every jurisdiction within Oklahoma, as well as unincorporated areas. The Oklahoma UBCC (Uniform Building Code Commission) is funded by fees attached to building permits issued by local jurisdictions. Since its infancy, the UBCC has lagged behind in their review and adoption of the new Codes. Such is the case with the 2018 Editions adopted this past Fall. The City’s Construction Appeals Board has historically served as the local advisory committee for the adoption of building codes. This responsibility has obviously now shifted to the State. Never the less, the Construction Appeals Board can still offer a local perspective and recommendation for adoption of the new codes. The 2018 codes do not contain sweeping changes in any particular area, but reflect the continual evolution in code applications and use of new materials where experience, laboratory testing, and product improvements warrant such changes. The International Fire Code and International Building Code contain provisions that are very similar to, and essentially mirror, one another. The code sections on means of egress, fire protection systems, interior finishes and fire-resistant construction, for example, are nearly identical in both codes. But it is important to remember that the Building Code is primarily a set of standards for use by architects and engineers to design new commercial structures, so that they conform to minimum safety and efficiency requirements. The Fire Code, on the other hand, addresses “conditions hazardous to life and property from fire, explosion, handling or use of hazardous materials and the use and occupancy of buildings and premises.” While the Fire Code can and does pertain to new construction, it is not limited to that area. It is meant to apply wherever the hazards mentioned above exist, and to give City officials the authority to mandate elimination or correction of those conditions. Historically, the rehabilitation of older and historic buildings has been made difficult by conflicting and inflexible code requirements intended primarily for new construction. The IEBC (International Existing Building Code) contains requirements that are intended to encourage the use and reuse of existing buildings. The scope of the Code covers repair, alteration, addition and change of occupancy for existing buildings, while achieving appropriate levels of safety by offering options to new construction requirements. While new construction is attractive, the preservation of older building stock is important. Meeting appropriate life safety standards in existing buildings is critical to maintaining this important investment and tax base in our community. The IEBC is the tool utilized in downtown business districts and older neighborhoods, because it provides the flexibility to permit alternative uses of older buildings and still achieve compliance with minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. Existing buildings are not exempt from new requirements all together, especially those considered essential to achieve health and safety. Such requirements typically remedy existing conditions such as the use of automatic fire sprinklers in certain places of assembly.

The City Commission approved a resolution amending the obligation of funds to be used as leverage with the Small Cities FY-2020 CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) Award. With the submission of the FY-20 Small Cities grant application, matching funds in the amount of $152,222.00 were approved and budgeted as follows: City of Ponca City $76,856.00; Friends of Marland’s Grand Home $25,000.00; Ponca City Development Authority $25,000.00; and Ponca City Development Services CDBG Match Budget – Special Services $25,366.00. However, due to the increase in construction costs to complete the Marland’s Grand Home Phase III Project, additional matching funds are required to complete the Base Bid and Alternate 1 for the project. The budgets for Home-Buyer Assistance and Special Services are the same as originally submitted. The new approved leverage budget of $267,222.00 for the Small Cities FY-2020 CDBG project is as follows: City of Ponca City $172,222.00; Friends of MGH $25,000.00; Ponca City Development Authority $ 25,000.00; Peel Foundation $ 25,000.00; and P66 $20,000.00.

The City Commission approved a contract and authorized the Mayor to execute the necessary documents for Marland’s Grand Home Improvements Phase 3 to the Mid-Continental Restoration Company, Inc., in the amount of $301,083.00. The base bid amount of $252,420.00 includes: abatement patching, repairing and encapsulating damaged, cracked deteriorating stucco; post abatement repairing, priming and painting stucco; and temporarily removing gutters and downspouts, replacing damaged components and reinstalling after repairs are completed. The Alternate 1 amount of $48,663.00 includes: repairing, priming and painting all exterior wood soffits, pilasters and trim; removing, repairing, painting and reinstalling wood planter boxes; removing existing wood door and frames and repairing or replacing rotting components, priming, painting and reinstalling; replacing all soffit vents; and removing existing caulk and resealing all joints between wood components. Alternate 2 was not awarded due to budget constraints. An advertisement for bids and notice to bidders was published in the Ponca New News on December 14, 2021 and December 21, 2021. Invitations to bid were sent directly to two contractors, seven business development centers, and one plan room. A required mandatory pre-bid construction meeting was held at the Marland’s Grand Home on December 29, 2021, and one contractor attended, Mid-Continental Restoration Company, Inc. Since only one bid was received, CDBG required ODOC (Oklahoma Department of Commerce) approval prior to awarding the bid. The City of Ponca has submitted all necessary documents to ODOC for their review and approval. Approval from ODOC to award this contract to Mid-Continental Restoration Company, Inc. was received on January 19, 2022. Funding sources for this project include CDBG Grant, City of Ponca City, Friends of Marland’s Grand Home, Peel Foundation Grant, and P66 Grant. The anticipated construction time for the project is March/April/May. Architect fees are encumbered and being paid separately from this construction contract. The$301,083.00 project will be funded through the following: CDBG Construction – Buildings $101,856.00; City of Ponca City Hotel/Motel Tax $146,856.00; Friends of Marland Grand Home/P66/Peel Foundation $52,371.00.

PONCA CITY UTILITY AUTHORITY

PCUA Consent Agenda

Under the PCUA Consent Agenda, the PCUA Trustees voted to approve the minutes of the Ponca City Utility Authority regular session held January 24, 2022; a resolution appropriating money for payment of claims against the Ponca City Utility Authority of Ponca City; a resolution of the Ponca City Utility Authority amending the operating budget of various PCUA funds for Fiscal Year 2021-22; a resolution approving participation in the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma mutual aid agreement; an agreement reaffirming Ponca City Energy’s commitment to Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma mutual aid agreement; and a revised construction contract with Horseshoe Construction, Inc. for the Kingston Road and Ash Street sanitary sewer rehabilitation project in the amount of $487,180.00.