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Recap: Ponca City Board of Commissioners Meeting of Nov. 14


The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on November 14, 2022. Mayor Homer Nicholson called the meeting to order, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. Commissioner Lanita Chapman, Commissioner Shasta Scott and Commissioner Paul Taylor were present.  Commissioner Rob Bodick was absent.

Ceremonies and Proclamations

Under Ceremonies and Proclamations, the November character trait of Gratefulness was introduced and defined as “demonstrating appreciation to others for what I have and how they have helped me.”

Consent Agenda

Under the Consent Agenda, the City Commission approved the minutes of the Ponca City Board of Commissioners regular session held October 24, 2022; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City, Oklahoma; a resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ponca City, Oklahoma amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2022-23; and a resolution designating certain fund balance accounts of governmental fund types and directing the Finance Director to implement the terms of the resolution.


Under Reports, City Manager Craig Stephenson reported on several upcoming events.

The 32nd Annual Environmental Services Celebration will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Friday, November 18. The City of Ponca City is named as one of three finalists in the municipal category.

A brief tree lighting ceremony will be held in front of City Hall on November 18, which will begin with Christmas carolers at 6:15 p.m. and conclude with the City Hall tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. The tree lighting will be immediately followed by the grand opening of Ice on the Plaza at the Veteran’s Plaza, located at 323 E. Grand Avenue.

The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority will be working with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to perform work on top of the Kaw Dam road on Friday, November 18, from 8:00 6:00 p.m. This work will require the road to be closed for the duration of the work. If at any point the work is completed early, the road will be opened for public use.

Autumn Leaf Collection is underway until January 22, 2023 and residents who wish to have their leaves removed are asked to please follow the guidelines:

  • Residents are asked to bag their leaves if possible. Bagged leaves placed in the regular refuse collection area will be collected free of charge until January 20, 2023.  Bagged leaves will be picked up at the rate of 10 bags per pickup day.
  • Loose leaves should be placed within three feet of the front curb, but not in the street gutter. If leaves are raked or blown into the street gutter they may clog the storm drains. Leaves found blown or raked into the street may result in a citation (per City Code).
  • No un-containerized leaves will be collected in alleyways.
  • No mulched leaves or leaves mixed with grass will be collected, except by special pickup.

The City’s Crew will be working the city section by section and asks for the public’s patience during this time. It may take two weeks or more to collect the leaves, due to the large volumes expected.  Leaf collection is also available by special pickup, anytime during the year, by calling call 767-0411.

City of Ponca City closures for the Thanksgiving holiday will be as follows:

  • City Hall offices will be closed Thursday, November 24, and Friday, November 25.
  • Residential Refuse will not be picked up Thursday, November 24 or Friday, November 25, and will resume Monday, November 28. As there will be no residential trash collection on Thursday, November 24 or Friday, November 25, please only put trash out on the scheduled day of collection. Trash left out overnight or for several days is susceptible to scatter from animals and/or weather which can result in a City Code violation.
  • Ponca City RecPlex will be open Thursday, November 24, 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (only) and reopen Friday, November 25.
  • Lew Wentz Golf Course will be closed Thursday, November 24 and reopen Friday, November 25.
  • Ponca City Landfill, Marland’s Grand Home, as well as the Marland Mansion and Estate will be closed Thursday, November 24, and Friday, November 25 and reopen Saturday, November 26.
  • Ponca City Library will close at 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 23 and reopen Sunday, November 27.
  • Ponca City Senior Center will be closed Thursday, November 24 and reopen Monday, November 28.

Stephenson concluded by announcing that the Lighted Christmas Parade will be held on Friday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m. He invited the public to come and watch the parade or decorate an entry with lights and festive décor to be in the parade.  Parade entry lineup information will be available on Thursday, December 1. Participants can register parade entries online thru November 30 at:

Also under Reports, Main Street Executive Director Maci Heppel presented the Ponca City Main Street Review. Heppel reported that Main Street’s transformation strategies include arts and entertainment and community connection. Main Street America found the key to revitalizing downtown was to approach the district’s challenges and opportunities in a comprehensive manner, working simultaneously in four broad areas called the Four Points. Ponca City Main Street’s committees represent the four points and are responsible for much of the work of Ponca City Main Street:

  • Organization (annual investment campaign, volunteer recruitment, Main Street mixers);
  • Economic Vitality (business assistance activities, proactive business recruitment, and vacant building inventory);
  • Design (outside the box, improvement grants, façade visioning project); and
  • Promotion (Crazy Days, Ladies Weekends, Social Media, Small Business Saturday, Goblins on Grand, Holiday Open House Weekend).

Additional information on upcoming Main Street Events can be found at

New Business

Under New Business, the City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code, Title 9, Chapter 5, Sections 3 and 4 regarding fees and Ponca City Lake lots; repealing ordinances in conflict; providing for severability and establishing an effective date. Parks and Recreation updated their Rates and Fees Schedule in the Omnibus Resolution earlier this year. In reviewing the City Code regarding Ponca City Lake Lots, it was determined that there were legal and technological changes that needed to made.  The ordinance amends City Code 9-5-3, Fees for Lake Lots, Ski Docks, And Picnic Shelters, by adjusting the title for clarification and adjusted the Picnic Shelter Rental times to correspond with the times listed in the Omnibus Resolution. The ordinance amends City Code 9-5-4, Ponca City Lake Lots, by removing language that allowed any Ponca City Utility Authority bill paying individual to erect a lake lot around Lake Ponca and limited the total number of Lake Ponca Lake Lots available to lease to the 114 currently recognized by the Parks and Recreation Department. And, the ordinance allows an external Port-o-Let or an internal electric incinerating toilet on Lake Ponca Lake lots.

The City Commission approved the submission of a grant application to Oklahoma Emergency Management for the 911-2021 911 Grant Program, in the amount of $54,710.00 to fund a comprehensive GIS 911 base map remediation in compliance with the most current State of Oklahoma Geographic Information NG9-1-1 and addressing standard as well as the most current National Emergency Number Association NG9-1-1 standards. The City Commission also approved a resolution by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Ponca City, Oklahoma affirming its intention and commitment to the citizens of the City of Ponca City, through a grant application to provide and maintain the most current and up-to-date GIS mapping database available. The purpose of the grant is to update and maintain GIS data, which will be available in a national database. This is a conformity issue that is eventually going to be required of all municipalities. The purpose is to provide 9-1-1 dispatchers with more accurate and up-to-date GIS information and, in the event of a disaster, provide information to other emergency response teams across the State of Oklahoma to help provide emergency assistance. The project will be completed in four phases and annual maintenance will be $4,600.00.

The City Commission approved a contract and authorized the Mayor to execute the necessary documents with Northwest Controls Systems, Inc. for the Ponca City – City Central Rehabilitation Project in the amount of $1,098,137.00. This project is being funded through the CDBG-CV grant that the City was awarded from the ODOC (Oklahoma Department of Commerce). The purpose of this project is to upgrade the HVAC system at City Central to improve indoor air quality, reduce energy costs, and provide better control for occupant comfort. This project meets the requirement of prevention of, preparation for and in response to the coronavirus requirements of the grant. Pursuant to the Policies and Procedures Guide for the CDBGCR program, specifically as it relates to “Non-Competitive Proposals (Sole Source)”, the City of Ponca City submitted to ODOC a sole source procurement request for this project. The justification for the sole source procurement was due to the proprietary control systems for the HVAC system. City Central currently has an Alerton control system running the HVAC system. Alerton’s software is proprietary, only Alerton can reprogram the control software. Northwest Controls is the exclusive distributor for Alerton controls in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Northwest Controls previously installed and programmed the Alerton control system in City Central. For any other company to complete the work for this project, it would require either subcontracting Northwest Controls or replacing the entire building control system. Subcontracting Northwest Controls would have incurred additional markup on their work and a complete building control system replacement is well beyond the scope of this project and significantly costlier, with no added benefit. ODOC approved the Sole Source Procurement request on June 3, 2022 based on the following criteria: (1) the item is available from a single source; (2) The public emergency for the required purchase of goods or services will not permit the delay resulting from competitive solicitation. A proposal was solicited from Northwest Controls, LLC with a due date of October 12, 2022. The proposal was received on this date. The initial amount of the proposal was $1,838,595.00. This amount was well beyond the amount budgeted for this project. City staff, PCDA staff and Ryan Sudlow, Mechanical Engineer, reviewed the proposal and a determination was made to remove the “Needle Point Systems Install” component of the proposed project. By removing this portion of the project, City staff and PCDA staff were still able to achieve the intent of the original scope of work, which is to improve indoor air quality, reduce energy costs, and provide better control for occupant comfort. The revised proposal was approved by ODOC and the sole source procurement was not impacted by this change. City staff recommended that the sole source procurement of the project be approved due to the proprietary nature of the Alerton control system, Northwest Control Systems, LLC familiarity with the building, and the capability to handle the controls retrofit.  The anticipated construction time for the project is December 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

The City Commission approved a contract and execution of the contract documents to Hembree and Hodgson Construction, LLC for Street Improvement Project, Concrete Pavement Reconstruction, Walnut Avenue – Third Street To Fourth Street, in the amount of $173,871.88. This project is for pavement reconstruction on Walnut Avenue from Third Street to Fourth Street. The improvements scheduled include the removal of the existing deteriorated concrete pavement and construction of new concrete pavement with curbs and gutters. The project will also include new concrete sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, and driveway approaches. This section of street lies along the southern boundary of the new Public Safety Center and jail site. Advertisement for this project began on October 13, 2022. A pre-bid meeting was held on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 with four contractors attending. The bid opening was held on Thursday, November 3, 2022 and three bids were received. Staff recommended awarding the lowest most responsible bid from Hembree and Hodgson Construction, LLC. Staff anticipates construction to begin in early December for this 30-calendar day project. The project is funded by the City Street Sales Tax Capital fund.

The City Commission denied an application to RWD (Rural Water District) #3 for a residential water meter to be placed on a tract of land containing less than five acres, located at 6 North 40 Road, Kay County, Oklahoma. The City received an application from RWD #3 for a residential rural water meter to be placed on property located at 6 North 40 Road in Kay County. The parcel measures 2.5 acres in area and was purchased by the applicant in 2020 for the purpose of providing a place for her granddaughter to live. The area in question lies north of Hubbard Road and approximately 5 miles northwest of Ponca City. It consists of 11 individual tracts, all connected by a private road to form a subdivision of sorts, although it is not platted. The tracts range in area from 2.5 acres to 7.5 acres. According to the applicant, rural water was first offered to the residents back in 1989. Much of the unincorporated portions of Kay and Osage County have been served by rural water districts dating back to the late 1960’s. Ironically, the RWD’s get their source of water from the City of Ponca City. Therefore, the City is responsible for producing enough water to not only serve current and future City residents, but those served by the rural water districts as well. Since the City is contractually obligated to supply a specified amount of water, the Commission also has some say in the way the water is ultimately distributed to the customer. It is not the intent or mission of the City of Ponca City and PCUA to promote high density residential growth outside the corporate limits of the City at the expense of the citizens living within the City limits. Therefore, the contract with RWD #3 stipulates the “water district will not furnish water to any area subdivided in 5-acre tracts or less without approval by the City Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners of the City of Ponca City”. The intent is to maintain the rural character of the areas surrounding Ponca City and not to place a burden on the City to supply water beyond its capability to do so. However, the contract does not suggest or otherwise establish a criteria or policy by which the merits of such applications should be judged. The contract with the RWD #3 dates back to 1967 and the City has reached out to RWD #3 multiple times to draft up a new agreement, but to no avail. The Mayor and Board of Commissioners have denied most recent applications to vary RWD contract provisions, especially in light of the drought conditions that persisted in the area from 2011 to 2015 and now persist once again. Nevertheless, the RWD representatives are obligated to submit the water meter applications in accordance with the contract provisions and this practice will probably continue regardless of the current Commission policy.  Since 2013, staff has received a total of twelve applications to vary the five-acre or commercial provisions in the contract with RWD #3. All applications have been denied with the exception of an application from the Kildare School District back in 2020. The Commission approved that application so the school district could construct a multi-purpose building at the school complex and meet State mandated Fire codes.

The City Commission conducted an Executive Session for the purposes of discussing negotiations with the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Fraternal Order of Police and for the confidential communication between the Commission and its Attorney on pending litigation, as the City Attorney Advised that public disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the Commission to litigate in the public interest. No action was taken.


PCUA Consent Agenda

Under the PCUA Consent Agenda, the PCUA Trustees approved the minutes of the Ponca City Utility Authority regular session held October 24, 2022; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the Ponca City Utility Authority of Ponca City, Oklahoma; a resolution of the Ponca City Utility Authority, Ponca City, Oklahoma amending the operating budget of various PCUA funds for Fiscal Year 2022-23; an acknowledgement receipt of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Construction Permit WL000036220654 for the Construction of 264 Linear Feet of 6-Inch PVC potable water line, and all appurtenances to serve the Pecan Plaza Retail Development, Kay County, Oklahoma; an acknowledgement receipt of Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Construction Permit SL000036220652 for the Construction of 1,327 Linear Feet of 8-Inch PVC Sanitary Sewer line, and all appurtenances to serve the Pecan Plaza retail development, Kay County, Oklahoma; Change Order No. 2 and accepted all work as complete for the Bois D’arc Liftstation Wet Well Rehabilitation and Valves Replacement Project and authorized final payment in the amount of $61,988.58; and the final payment to Madden Fencing and Services, LLC of Blackwell, Oklahoma and to accept all work as complete for the Ponca City Landfill, West Fence Line Construction Project in the amount of $25,905.43.

New Business

The PCUA Trustees also approved a resolution authorizing application for an ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Grant from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Additional ARPA funds are available to cities for special water and wastewater projects through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Three projects have been identified by Environmental Services as being both beneficial to the City and fundable through these programs:

  • Raw Water Final Design Alternatives Analysis.  This analysis will review current and alternative plans for delivering water from Kaw Lake for use in the City’s Water Treatment Plant.
  • Lead and Copper Rule Revisions Compliance Program.  This will allow the City to stay in compliance with the EPA’s new Lead and Copper Rule and will include building a master inventory of potential lead service lines, developing a sampling plan, developing a public outreach program, and other related services.
  • Sanitary Sewer Project – Police Station Phase II. This project will rehabilitate approximately 3,400 linear feet of 8-inch sanitary sewer in northwest Ponca City.

Total for all three projects is expected to cost $2,000,000.00. There is a 50% cash match requirement for these funds, so the City’s share will be $1,000,000.00.