Ponca City Board of Commission May 22 meeting minutes

May 26, 2023 | Headlines

PONCA CITY — The Ponca City Board of Commissioners met in regular session on May 22, 2023. Mayor Homer Nicholson called the meeting to order, which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. Commissioners Robert Bodick, Paul Taylor, and Kelsey Wagner were in attendance. Commissioner Garrett Bowers was absent.

Ceremonies and Proclamations

Under Ceremonies and Proclamations, Mayor Nicholson presented an Emergency Medical Services Week proclamation and a Flood Awareness Month proclamation.

Consent Agenda

Under the Consent Agenda, the City Commission approved the minutes of the Ponca City Board of Commissioners regular session held May 8, 2023; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the City of Ponca City; a resolution appointing members to various boards and commissions and establishing the terms of office; a resolution amending the operating budget of various funds for Fiscal Year 2022-23; Change Orders No. 1 and No. 2, final acceptance, accept all work as complete, and authorize release of final payment on Contract No. 18118 CDBGCR 20 – Senior Center Rehabilitation in the amount of $50,734.75; and authorizing advertisement of bids to obtain unit prices for items of work performed for sidewalk maintenance during the period July 1 through Dec. 31, 2023.

City Manager’s Report

Under Reports, City Manager Craig Stephenson announced that the City of Ponca City’s annual Safety Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 and that the opening date for AMBUC Pool and Wentz Pool has been moved to Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Stephenson announced that the City of Ponca City will observe the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 29, 2023:

•     City Hall Offices will be CLOSED Monday, May 29 and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Residential Refuse WILL NOT BE PICKED UP Monday, May 29, and WILL RESUME Tuesday, May 30.

•     Ponca City Landfill will be CLOSED Monday, May 29, and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Ponca City Senior Center WILL BE CLOSED Saturday, May 27 and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Ponca City Library will be CLOSED Saturday, May 27 through Monday, May 29, and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Marland’s Grand Home will be CLOSED Sunday, May 28 and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Marland Mansion and Estate will be CLOSED Sunday, May 28 and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Ponca City RecPlex will be CLOSED Monday, May 29, and will REOPEN Tuesday, May 30.

•     Lew Wentz Golf Course will be OPEN Monday, May 29.                                                                  

Stephenson reported that City Hall offices, located at 516 E. Grand Avenue, will be changing hours of operation after Memorial Day. Beginning Tuesday, May 30, City Hall will be open Monday thru Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The offices of the City Attorney, City Manager, Development Services, Environmental Services, Fire Administration, Finance, Grants Administration, Public Works, and Technology Services will be closed for lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Utility Billing, Human Resources, and the City Clerk’s Office will be open during the lunch hour. To coincide with City Hall’s new hours of operation, Municipal Court and Police Records, both located at 200 E. Oklahoma Ave., will be changing hours of operation to Monday thru Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. As always, the Ponca City Utility Authority payment drop box is available on the east side of City Hall, Ponca City Utility Authority emergency utility assistance is available by calling 580.767.0405, and Ponca City Broadband helpdesk is available by calling 580.718.5074.

Stephenson encouraged Ponca City residents with a cell phone, landline phone, or email address to enroll in the Ponca City Notification System. Weather notifications are sent directly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. Notifications from the City of Ponca City regarding power outages, water outages, road closures, and other alerts will soon be provided. For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, please go to: www.poncacityok.gov/pcnotification-registration or email em@poncacityok.gov

Stephenson concluded his report on a celebratory note, reminding everyone that Ponca City Broadband has completed the City-wide build out of the new fiber optic network system to every home and business inside the city limits of Ponca City. The project started in early 2019 and the final customer service area was completed and accepted on May 11, 2023, earlier than anticipated.

Public Hearings

A public hearing was conducted on the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24.  Preparations for the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget process began six months ago and several open meetings were held where the budget was discussed. The City Commission received public input throughout the year, and met in open meetings on April 17 and 18, 2023 with every department to discuss operations and the proposed budget. The proposed budget was summarized in the format required by State law, and published in the Ponca City News on Saturday, May 6, 2023. A public hearing is required by the Municipal Budget Act to be held not less than five days after publication and at least fifteen days prior to the beginning budget year, which will begin July 1, 2023. No comments were received on the proposed budget during the public hearing.

New Business

Under New Business, the City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code, Title 9, Chapter 8C, Section 8, Stormwater utility service charge rates, repealing ordinances in conflict, providing for severability, and declaring an effective date. The rates, fees, and charges made by all City departments are required to be reviewed each year. Due to the increased costs of required mandates, materials, labor, fuel, and other operating expenses, staff recommended a $0.25 per month increase for Stormwater utility rates and charges.

The City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code, Title 6, Chapter 3, Section 10 to provide for costs recovery in certain Solid Waste Collection and Landfill rates, repealing ordinances in conflict, providing for severability and establishing an effective date. Environmental Services staff discussed service rates with Mayor, City Commission and City management during the budget hearings held on April 17 and 18, 2023. At that time, it was agreed upon that a 3% rate increase be implemented on all residential and commercial Solid Waste collection services, and a 5 percent increase be implemented at the Landfill. This rate adjustment is necessary in order to help the City’s Solid Waste Division recover various costs associated with refuse collection and disposal, which includes personnel, operation and maintenance, capital improvement projects, permitting fees, funding to City Landfill’s closure and post-closure care accounts, providing for the Equipment Depreciation Schedule, and supporting the City’s Recycling Center.

The City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code, Title 9, Chapter 8A, Section 6 in regard to Water fee charges to provide for costs recovery in all aspects of water collection, treatment, distribution, associated capital expenses and recovery costs of support services furnished by various City departments, repealing ordinances in conflict, and providing for severability and establishing effective date. By charter, the Board of Commission reviews all utility rates each April. The Mayor and Commissioners discussed water rates with the Environmental Services staff during the April 17 and 18, 2023 budget hearings. At that time, it was agreed upon that a 5 percent charge increase be implemented on all residential, rural and commercial customers, in order to help the City’s Water Production and Water Distribution Division recover some of the increased costs associated with routine operation and infrastructure improvement projects.

The City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code Title 9, Chapter 8B, Section 14, in regard to Industrial Pretreatment annual permit fee to provide for adjustment of permit fee for industrial users, repealing ordinances in conflict; providing for severability and establishing an effective date. The City Commission also approved an ordinance amending City Code, Title 9, Chapter 8B, Section 15 in regard to Wastewater charges to provide for costs recovery in all aspects of wastewater collection, treatment, and associated capital expenses and recovery costs of support services furnished by various City departments, repealing ordinances in conflict, providing for severability and establishing an effective date. By charter, the Board of Commission reviews all utility rates each April. The Mayor and Commissioners discussed wastewater rates with the Environmental Services staff during the April 17 and 18, 2023 budget hearings. At that time, it was agreed upon that a 3 percent charge increase be implemented on all residential, rural, commercial and industrial customers, in order to help recover a small portion of the increased costs of operation and infrastructure improvement projects. City Code Section 9-8B-15.B.1 has been modified slightly to allow for higher monitoring resolution (monthly, weekly, or daily vs only monthly) if needed. Some industrial customers’ waste stream fluctuates greatly throughout the course of the month and monthly monitoring does not adequately reflect the burden placed on the City’s infrastructure.

The City Commission approved an ordinance amending City Code Title 9, Chapter 8A, Section 2 to provide for increased Electric rates, repealing ordinances in conflict, providing for severability, and declaring an effective date. The rates, fees and charges made by all City Departments are required to be reviewed each year. Due to the increased costs of required materials, labor, fuel and other operating expenses, staff recommended a 3 percent across-the-board increase for all electric rates and charges.

Utility rate adjustments will be effective from the first billing cycle in July 2023. Ponca City Utility Authority rates can be viewed at www.poncacityok.gov under the Finance Section of the City of Ponca City’s website.

The City Commission approved the operating budgets of the various City funds for Fiscal Year 2023-24. The Fiscal Year 2023-24 annual budget is required by State Statute to be adopted by the governing body, by resolution, no later than seven days prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2023. The resolution, summary budget, and budget book are the product of the past six months of work to provide a financial and work plan for the coming year. The budget was prepared through a process of multiple meetings with the City Commission, City management and staff. The proposed budget is balanced and in legal form. A copy of the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget is available at the Ponca City Library and it can be viewed at www.poncacityok.gov under the Finance section of the City of Ponca City’s website.

The City Commission approved a resolution setting non-utility rates, fees, and charges for the City of Ponca City and the Ponca City Utility Authority. The City operates many business units that provide diverse services to our community. When the re-codification of the City Code began in 2000, staff set many goals tied to the project. One of the major goals was the standardization for City rates, fees and charges. After much research and discussion, staff proposed returning to a method of setting all utility rates by ordinance, as they are major financial operations and represent critical services. Regarding all other rates, fees and charges, staff set a goal to standardize the way these are set, including a comprehensive review annually. Addressing all other rates, fees and charges on one omnibus resolution also creates one place where they can be reviewed by the City Commission, management and the public alike. The issue of rates and fees was discussed in the spring of 2023 during budget preparation. The proposed resolution includes the changes discussed along with the addition of rates for new services and the deletion of rates for services we no longer provide.  Non-utility rate adjustments will be effective July 1, 2023. Non-utility rates can be viewed at www.poncacityok.gov under the Finance Section of the City of Ponca City’s website.

PCUA (PONCA CITY UTILITY AUTHORITY)

PCUA Consent Agenda

Under the PCUA Consent Agenda, the PCUA Trustees approved the minutes of the PCUA regular session held May 8, 2023; a resolution appropriating money for the payment of claims against the PCUA; and a resolution setting non-utility rates, fees, and charges for the City of Ponca City and the PCUA.

PCUA New Business

Under PCUA New Business, the PCUA Trustees approved a resolution approving the operating budgets of Water, Ponca City Energy, Ponca City Broadband, Solid Waste, Landfill Closure, Solid Waste Depreciation Reserve, Utility Billing, Wastewater, Stormwater, and Technology Services funds for the Fiscal Year 2023-24. The Fiscal Year 2023-24 annual budget for the PCUA is in resolution and book form. The budget is a product of the past six months of work to provide a financial and work plan for the coming year. The budget was prepared through a process of multiple meetings with the City Commission, City management, and staff. The proposed budget is balanced and in legal form. A copy of the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget is available at the Ponca City Library and it can be viewed at www.poncacityok.gov under the Finance section of the City of Ponca City’s website.