The Sand Springs City Council meeting had a full agenda with resignations, re-elections, parks, and new business.
Opting out of a teleconference meeting, all of the city councilors were present.
Webco and Chick-fil-A were both discussed at the city council meeting Monday, May 18, but Sand Springs City Manager Elizabeth Gray had an announcement. Gray submitted her resignation to be effective immediately for family reasons. Gray is resigning to help care for her aging mother. She was hired as the Sand Springs city manager in 2014 and was the second-ever female city manager for the city. Gray made the announcement through email to city councilors.
“Her letter of resignation stated family obligations as her reason. She has been with the city of Sand Springs for about five years. A lot of positive changes happened during her tenure,” said Mayor Jim Spoon.
Gray is originally from the Seminole area but her family moved around a lot due to her father’s military service.
There will be an official announcement from the city coming soon.
Ordinance No. 1350 for Tax Increment Financing District-Proposed Increment Dist. No. 3 was approved. Webco will not have to pay property taxes for 25 years. This helps offset the cost of infrastructure in the $3 to $4 Million range.
This is very common, but it’s only the third time Sand Springs has done this for a business. The first was Walmart, and WEBCO was the second. They are also the third.
City councilor, Phil Nollan, said even though Sand Springs Schools won’t receive any money due to WEBCO not paying property tax, the business is very charitable and donates tens of thousands of dollars to the community each year.
Chick-fil-A, a fast food restaurant, is still slated to open in early June. The city once floated the date as June 4, but Chick-fil-A has not confirmed the opening date.
The stoplight that was built on HWY 97, in front of Chick-fil-A, is set to be operational at least one week prior to the restaurant’s opening. It’s being reported that the restaurant will only have drive-thru service for the first week or so but that is subject to change.
Mayor Jim Spoon and Vice-Mayor Patty Dixon were re-elected for another year term.
The city budget is holding strong and the sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t hurt the budget too much. Sales tax was up two percent from last year from March 15 to April 15. However, restaurants and hotels were down around 20 percent.
Sand Springs parks are set to open June 1, but Nollan said the splash pads could be a different story. Nollan said the city isn’t sure if the splash pads will open at that time, and other cities have opted to keep their splash pads closed.
“The water in the splash pads doesn’t recycle. It’s fresh water and there isn’t enough chlorine in it to kill a virus. It would wash it off, but it wouldn’t kill it,” he said.
The city is still deciding on an opening date for the splash pads.
Donation bins have been an issue in Sand Springs and the city adopted an ordinance to cut down on trash surrounding those bins. Ordinance No. 1349 forces the owners of these bins to buy a business permit, giving the city the owner’s contact information. Now, if a bin looks trashy and needs to be cleaned, the city can alert the owner.