Little non-swimmers may get some help this summer, thanks to a matching grant from the Avedis Foundation. Michelle Briggs, Avedis president/CEO, announced Monday that the nonprofit was pledging a $10,000 matching grant toward a swim program to provide swim lessons for children at Shawnee Splash.

Shawnee City Commissioners considered bids for the FY 2016-17 Rehab Concrete Streets Project and the Gateway and Park Signage Project.

The streets project has been deferred until the next meeting. City staff recommends an award of the Rehab Concrete Streets Project to MTZ Construction in the amount of $480,250 — which was the second low bid submitted. The low bid received was from Big Star Services, LLC, out of Sand Springs, in the amount of $474,225. Shawnee had no previous experience with Big Star, and out of eight references, only one was for roadway/street construction (and that one is currently under construction — a one-block street reconstruction project in Ponca City.

Regarding the Base Bid portion of the Gateway Park Signage Project, City Commissioners awarded a contract to Randy's Signs in the amount of $144,475.

On the topic, regarding funding of the Wayfinding project, the Junior Service League (JSL) of Shawnee presented its support in helping with signage sponsorship. City Manager Justin Erickson said JSL is sponsoring approximately half a gateway sign — around $8,200. Also, Board Chairman Randy Gilbert and Director Emily Lutz, both with Visit Shawnee, Inc. (VSI), shared VSI's offer of $68,175 in signage funding.

Much of the remaining agenda centered around housekeeping items like city agreements and contract renewals.

City Commissioners approved a resolution to adopt the Shawnee Strategic Plan — Commissioner Lesa Shaw abstained; she had concerns that there was not enough citizen representation regarding the plan.

Mayor Richard Finley said the Strategic Plan was a good document.

“It's a great starting point,” he said. “It's not a finished product.”

In other business, the new owner of 703 S. Pottenger, Clint Latham, made an appeal of an administrative order requiring the demolition of the residential structure at that site. The item has been deferred to allow Latham time to put a plan into action. Latham has said in a recent letter to the planning department that he intends to submit a building permit in order to remodel the property.

Planning Director Justin DeBruin said he would rather give the property owner the opportunity to remodel the site than see it demolished.

No action was taken after the board went into executive session to discuss the annual evaluations of City Manager Justin Erickson and City Treasurer Cindy Arnold.

On the Municipal Authority agenda, commissioners acknowledged the Central Disposal Contract for FY 2017-2018. Utility Director Steve Nelms recommended continuation of the contract that was signed in 2010 and is in effect through June 2020.

“Central Disposal has done an outstanding job providing weekly solid waste and recycling curb side pickup,” he said in a memo to the commission.

On the Airport Authority agenda, the board approved a funding request to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). With the board's approval, the Airport Authority now plans to send a letter to the OAC requesting the forwarding of future NPE Federal dollars in the amount of $150,000 for fiscal year 2018-2019. This would give the Airport $300,000 of federal grant dollars instead of $150,000 for one year. Doing so would allow the Airport to cover most, if not all, the cost of constructing the taxiway/apron area for future T-hangar development.

“This also means we would forfeit 2019-2020 NPE funds,” Airport Manager Keenan English said.

Also, commissioners approved a resolution accepting a grant agreement — contingent on the offer — for an airport improvement program (AIP) project from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the Shawnee Regional Airport to design and engineer the taxiway/apron area.

Also, the board voted to cancel the July 3 City Commission meeting.

Commissioners will meet next June 19.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.