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Airport, city to see improvements

Airport, city to see improvements

Skiatook Municipal Airport

Skiatook Municipal Airport. Lindsey Renuard/ Skiatook Journal

Mini Storage coming to Highway 20

City council held a public hearing to discuss approval rezoning of land at the intersection of Highway 20 and Lewis Avenue from agricultural to commercial for a proposed mini storage facility on Tuesday, September 8. The proposal had already been approved by the planning commission after a public hearing.

Luke Reynolds of Candy Lake Properties presented a brief version of the proposal during the meeting. The storage facility would have 24 hour access with lighting coming on and going off as customers enter and leave. All lights will be building mounted and facing down. There will be one access point on Lewis Avenue so as not to hold up traffic on Highway 20. The building design meets or exceeds the Highway 20 Overlay requirements for the outside of the building, signage and landscaping. No outside storage will be allowed.

Marsha Windsor, a resident of the neighboring Beacon Hill neighborhood, stated the residents had tried to request postponement of the hearing, but had prepared a letter for the council stating their objections and including signatures opposing the mini storage. The letter cited a significant increase in traffic on Lewis Avenue and an increase in strangers in the area as they visit the mini storage. The letter also stated concern for the safety of children living in the neighborhood with the increased traffic and a possible drop in property values.

“This will trash up the currently peaceful drive into Skiatook,” Windsor stated.

Michael Render, who owns 25 acres directly across Highway 20 from the mini storage was concerned that the city was thinking too small in their plans for the corridor from Highway 75 into Skiatook. He stated the developer has a very good plan, but wondered if the storage facility met the bigger picture of what the city sees as the potential for the corridor. He recommended tabling or disproving the proposal.

Clay Staires said, “I don’t know about a storage unit to welcome people to town. It looks like a beautiful little place, but it’s a storage unit.” He also stated that the council did not have to approve the proposal.

Chris Tracy recently bought a house in the area and was concerned about his grandkids being near a storage facility.

City Lawyer Joel Barnaby informed the council that there was a possibility for lawsuits on either side for a PUD reclassification of zoning such as would have to be approved before the mini storage could be built.

The council did unanimously approve rezoning of the land from agricultural to commercial for the proposed mini storage.

City improvementsCity council approved payment of $35,000 to paint the north and south city owned hangars at Skiatook Municipal Airport. The painting will be done in conjunction with the runway reconstruction, which is expected to start in November.

Contech, Inc. was awarded the Rehabilitate Runway 18/36 project at the Skiatook Municipal Airport in the amount of $1,658,056.50. This project is fully funded through FAA grants and does not require the city to match any funding.

An amendment of an agreement was approved between CEC and the city of Skiatook as part of the Rehabilitate Runway 18/36 project for an owner-engineer agreement. The total amount approved was $174,250.00. Half of the funds will go to inspection and testing of the new runway. The other half will be for a detailed inspection to certify the Skiatook Municipal Airport to allow instrument approach. Currently the airport is only certified for manual approach of aircraft.

Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC was awarded the East Side Tree Trimming project as the lowest responsible bidder at a cost of $185,920.94. This is a continuation of the tree trimming project that has been in progress for the last six years. This is the first time the city will be trimming trees in half of the city at one time. The area affected will be from the walking trail to Highway 75 and is expected to be completed within 90 days after the project begins.

The fire department received approval to purchase three Stryker EMS Power-LOAD cot fasteners in the amount of $98,583.87. The majority of the funding comes from grants. The remaining amount, which may be around $7,000 to $8,000 is budgeted for this year. The cot fasteners will allow cots to be power lifted into ambulances and will cut down injuries resulting from manually lifting cots into ambulances.

City Manager Dan Yancey

to receive raiseAfter an executive session, the city council presented the results of their discussion on the job performance and salary of City Manager Dan Yancey. This was conducted as part of the annual review on job performance.

Mayor Herb Forbes said, “We all agree that Dan Yancey has done an exceptional job since he began his employment. To this point, we have only given him a salary increase in the same amounts as city employees receive. One year he even asked to not have a raise because of the economy. He is past due for a salary adjustment.”

The council researched the salaries of city managers in similar communities and have decided to increase his salary to catch Yancey’s salary up to be competitive with other markets.

“I can go on and on about the great job he has done. I know we will catch flack from some citizens, but he should have gotten a portion of that already,” Forbes said. “We don’t want to lose him.”

Councilor Joyce Jech pointed out that Yancey has gotten the city a lot of grant money, which the city hasn’t had in the past. “He helped us get out of the red and into the black. He has brought a lot to the city. We are blessed to have him,” Jech said.

Yancey said, ”Working with the city has certainly been an honor. I have a great council and a great staff. I can’t do this without council’s support and the great employees.”

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Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Chastain was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.

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