Rezoning of property among agenda items.

When Shawnee’s Planning Commission meets today, it will hold a public hearing, consider two plats and hear and an update on the Downtown Streetscape Project.


A public hearing will be held for consideration of approval to rezone property located northeast of the I-40 Service Road and Union Street in Shawnee. The applicant is Cooper Shawnee Investments, LLC.


The commission also will consider approval of a Preliminary Plat for Deer Field Estates located in the 1400-1500 block of East Bradley in Shawnee. The applicant is Kishwaukee Enterprises, LLC.


The commission also will consider approval of a Final Plat for Stone Creek Crossing located at the north of MacArthur along Acme Roads in Shawnee. Applicant is Stone Creek Investments, LLP.


An update will be presented on the Downtown Streetscape Project. And Director Justin Erickson will provide his report.


The meeting, open to the public, will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the commission chambers of city hall.


Pottawatomie County’s Free Fair is opening today.


It’s scheduled through Saturday at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center.


The Fair Board has hired Kevin and Stormi Marlow this year to manage the fair.

The Carnival opens Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Children’s Barnyard opens at 1 p.m. on Thursday.


A collaborative effort aimed at supporting the Canton Lake fishery culminated earlier this summer with the installation of two reservoir water circulators in that northwestern Oklahoma lake.


Chas Patterson, Northwest Region fisheries supervisor with the Wildlife Department, said the plan to use the circulators came out of meetings involving the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the City of Oklahoma City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Concerns about the sustainability of the Canton Lake fishery prompted the discussions after three significant drawdowns of water were made in recent years to address water supply needs for Oklahoma City, which owns the water rights to the lake.


Patterson said the agencies agreed to try out two solar-powered water circulation pumps to evaluate whether they can help sustain the fish population during the hot and stagnant summer months. The Corps provided technical data about the units and researched how the units could help the Canton Lake fishery.


During the six-month lease trial, Wildlife Department personnel will take water quality samples at various times to gauge whether the circulators are affecting dissolved oxygen, temperature and algae production.


Barry Bolton, Fisheries Division chief with the Wildlife Department, said the goal of this effort is to preserve the Canton Lake fishery so that recreational opportunity will not be lost, and so the Wildlife Department will not have to begin a multi-year process to restock fish into the lake.


"This recreational fishery out here in northwest Oklahoma is one of the best. The best walleye fishery, and sand bass, catfish -- we've got it all," Bolton said. Referring to the most recent drawdown of the lake, he said, "The city of Oklahoma City realized they were having some impacts. They stepped up to the plate and paid for the lion's share of this."


Monte Hannon, water quality superintendent for Oklahoma City, said the city is sensitive to the effects that taking water out of Canton can have on recreational uses, primarily fishing. "We try to schedule our takes at such a time that it does not interfere with the activities at the lake ... and the recreational season," he said.


Hannon said that Oklahoma City's most recent water drawdown from Canton Lake has had a greater effect because there has been virtually no rain since then to recharge the lake.


The reservoir circulators, sitting on a parking lot before being placed into the lake, resembled something akin to a Voyager spacecraft. Each unit has three "legs" to which large black floats are attached. A large bowl-like dish opens upward in the center, and three angled solar panels ring the top edge of the machine.


A truck with a hoist was used to carry each unit to the end of a boat ramp and lower it into the water. Then a boat was used to tow it to the spot where it was anchored. Patterson said the units were positioned in several of the deeper areas of the lake. One is in the river channel in the center of the lake about a half-mile north of the dam, and the other is near the dam.


Steve Shanabarger of SolarBee in Dickinson, N.D., said the circulators are nearly maintenance-free. The 20-volt solar panels keep the battery charged, and a regulator allows the pump motor to operate constantly, even at night. The floating units are marked with warning signs, pylons and flashing beacons.


Norma McKiddy down at Tecumseh writes me that the “Coats for Kids” Ministry is gearing up for the 2014-2015 fall and winter season.


Once again she is seeking donation of good warm and used coats of all sizes, from infants to adults.


She advises donations may be dropped off at Morris Cleaners or Branson McKiddy Realty in Tecumseh or Finley Cleaners in Shawnee.


For coats to be picked up, call her at 405-598-1443. She adds that monetary donations may be made to “Coats for Kids” at First United Bank or mailed to Coats for Kids Ministry at P.O. Box 246, Tecumseh, OK 74873.


All donations are appreciated, she said. The Coat House at Gordon Cooper Drive and Benson Park Road will be opening beginning Oct. 18 and run through February, each Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon.


She points out there is no charge but the person needing a coat must be present to receive one.


This is the 18th year of this ministry, and she noted thousands of coats have been given out. She said “words cannot express our appreciation for all the help received.”


If you have ideas or something of interest for this column, please call me at 214-3922 or email me at Please include your name and a phone number for contact purposes.