Sapulpa City Council discusses new golf course fees and rules for public comment

By Caleb Wortz

City Council heard from staff this Monday regarding an upcoming health insurance renewal with Community Care, golf course green fee changes and a potential correction to a zoning ordinance. The council’s regular session dealt primarily with bids, particularly for the Wastewater Treatment Plant and rezoning for a future complex of eight duplexes. 

Sapulpa HR Director Becky McGinnis gave updates on the city’s health insurance renewal. She cited that the city received a rate pass last year after marketing the city’s coverage but this could indicate a higher rate next year. 

advertisement

“We are marketing that now, we’re trying to make a decision on where we’re going to go with that and I should be at a future counsel to advise the council on that, McGinnis said. “I think we have Delta, Principle and Blue Cross, the standard was just really expensive.”

The council then heard from Sapulpa Project Manager Mike Russel who reported findings from a survey that compared Sapulpa’s green fees with nearby golf courses like La Fortune, South Lakes or Blackjack Ridge. 

“Really one of the only major increases we had was in our membership fees and updating those that hadn’t been updated in six-plus years,” Russel said. We also adjusted our green fees and current fees to reflect the current market rates.”  

A significant portion of the study session was a discussion on a twenty-year-old zoning ordinance mistake. City Attorney David Widdoes explained that an error in the zoning ordinance for the Lakes of Cross Timbers from 2001 is causing it to show as agricultural zoning, 

“I’d like to recommend we do a “nunc pro tunc” to go back and amend that ordinance that was adopted into a corrective ordinance,” Widdoes said. “And that’s what I’m going to bring to you at the next council meeting.” 

The study session phased out with a discussion on potential rules for public comment inspired by a contentious public hearing last month. It was noted that this was not in response to behavior during Sapulpa’s meetings but inspired by a Shawnee District court ruling regarding compliance during meetings. 

“The biggest changes in setting some of the rules we all understand and learn how to treat people in kindergarten is putting the public comment at the very beginning of the meeting as opposed to the end,” Widdoes said.

No ultimate decision was reached on these potential rule changes with some counselors concerned that commenters would not be able to address points made by a presenter if comment was held first. 

Council approved a zoning ordinance change for the future construction of eight duplexes at East Verne Avene and North Tenth Street. It was noted that a couple of individuals spoke at planning commission who were concerned about traffic and the number of units on the property. 

“We’re not against them doing it, it’s the number of units, the number of people and the roads, we’re all concerned about that,” said Linda Williams, a public commenter. “We would like to see that property improved but not that many units and to be cleaned up. 

The council also approved to reject all bids for the Grit Removal and Restoration Project. It was recommended that they reject all bids this time so the project can be rebid at a later date. Grit removal is a maintenance process common in water treatment plants. 

Monday’s meeting ended with the council entering into executive session to discuss various areas of economic development. 

Did you enjoy this story? Consider subscribing to the Sapulpa Times to help keep us telling all the stories happening in the town that we love. Subscribe today for just $4.99 a month.