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January 22, 2014

Council halts demolition; officer honored

Ada — An Ada man proved you can fight city hall Tuesday evening but only after making improvements dramatic enough to change their minds.

A house at 309 W. 3rd St. was slated for demolition by the city until councilors gave it a reprieve.

Owner P.J. Smith, who has experience restoring old homes, made numerous improvements to the house, then took a few minutes to thank the council for backing off on their demolition plans.

The council accepted the  recommendation of staff that the house was no longer delapidated.

Smith said he is continuing his efforts to improve the house.

Ada police officer Brian Tomsovic was awarded a Lifesaving Medal, presented by the State of Oklahoma during the meeting.  

Mayor Greg McCortney made the presentation in behalf of the state.

Tomsovic was honored for preventing a woman from jumping to her death by grabbing her from a dangerous perch, preventing her possible suicide.

The council was treated to a PowerPoint presentation concerning the city’s Main Street Improvement plans.

Keith Franklin with LandPlan Consultants made the presentation, which depicted sketches of a dramatically improved Main Street complete with sidewalks, trees, new stop lights and a path which he said is designed as an area where both cars and bicycles can share the street safely.

Given the buildings’ proximity to the street, the planner said creating a separate lane for cyclists in that part of downtown would be virtually impossible.

Council members heard a price tag for the improvements of $6,048,503.64.

City Manager Cody Holbrook said the price tag would probably be closer to $7 million.  

Normal street items like lights, which will be posted on the sides of the streets, will add to the cost.

The plan calls for continuing the improvements that have already been made beyond Mississippi Street up to East Central University.

 In other city business, the Ada Public Works  Authority voted

• unanimously to transfer $1,641,476.93, plus accrued interest  from the Reservoir Development/   Water System Fund, formerly known as the Parker Reservoir Fund, to the Water Development Fund; and upon transfer, the Reservoir Development/Water System Fund was cancelled;

• unanimously to approve new water, sewer and solid waste fees and charges as provided by the Code of Ordinances of the City of Ada (the city contracts its trash removal services, and an annual 2.5 percent increase is built into the contract with WCBT);

• unanimously to accept a reimbursement grant from the Oklahoma  Office of Homeland Security for $3,668.90 for the purchase and maintenance costs for the Technical Rescue Trailer;

• unanimously to approve an agreement with Terracon Consultants for material testing services for the Wintersmith Dam Rehabilitation Project, which includes soil testing. The price was $12,471.80.

 Reach Art Lawler at adanewslawler@cableone.net.

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