Former Vice-Mayor of Ardmore Doug Pfau was elected as the new mayor Monday night during a regularly scheduled meeting.
“I move that Doug Pfau be the mayor of 2016 to 2017,” said City Commissioner Sheryl Ellis, who moments before had taken her own oath of office once more.
Pfau, thanking former mayor John Moore for his help and guidance, then presented Moore with a Mayor’s Gavel plaque. City Commissioner Martin Dyer was elected vice-mayor.
Pfau’s first order of business as newly-elected mayor was the approval of the 7:30 p.m. city commission agenda, which included a consent agenda appointing Robert Grissom and DeLisa Taylor to the Ardmore Animal Care Trust Authority with terms to expire May 2019 and a lump sum distribution from a retirement fund with OkMRF to Dennis A. Johnson.
Prior to the elections, a regular meeting of the City Commission occurred at 7 p.m., during which an annual audit of Fiscal Year 2014-2015 was presented.
Certified Public Accountant Casey Russell, who reviewed the audit with the city, had nothing but good things to say about the city’s finances.
“The financial position of the city is always excellent,” Russell said, adding there were no internal issues or compliance issues.
Joni Parker, CPA, who also gave a brief overview, also said the city was in good shape. Parker said the city is self sufficient and covers the cost of their utility operations. She also commented it was good the city had no general obligation bond, or “GO” debt, which is good for taxpayers.
The city’s overall score was 7.9 on a scale of 1 to 10 and when looking at other governments that are about Ardmore’s size, Parker said, “an 8 is very rare.”
“You’re in good shape,” she said.
After hearing a report from Jessica Scott, director of development services, the commission also approved a Resolution of Support for Residences of Ardmore, LLC. Scott said the business needed the resolution from the city to commence with the application of a tax credit project for affordable housing.
“They intend to transform, or renovate, the old Ardmore High School into 60 new residential housing units,” Scott said.
The company is proposing to acquire and rehabilitate the historic building into a senior housing development. The resolution states the proposed development is consistent with Ardmore’s affordable housing strategies and comprehensive plan.
“The city of Ardmore supports economic development and promotes affordable housing for the benefit of the citizens of Ardmore,” part of the resolution reads.
The last regular meeting held in the chambers Monday night was an Ardmore Public Works Authority meeting. The only item of business was in regards to financing certain capital improvements benefiting the city, which was approved.
The capital improvements included were the streetscape project, the Exit 29 utilities project, the demolition of Colvert Dairy and a property acquisition at the downtown airpark, which totaled to $6.9 million. Ben Oglesby, a municipal advisor with Municipal Finance Services, said he believes the environment is great right now for competitive interest rates.
Oglesby estimated the city could get about a 2 percent interest rate, with an eight-and-a-half year term, which would allow the city to make annual payments of approximately $900,000. With the half-penny sales tax and the sales tax resiliency the city has, he said he’s confident they would get good bids from the banks.
The company needed the city’s authorization before moving forward and sending bid packages to the bank, which they received. Bid packages are expected to be sent out later this week and about three weeks later, he said they would receive bids, tabulate them and then report their findings to the city, at which point the city can decide whether or not to accept the lowest bid.
Oglesby said he expects they should be able to close and fund the loan by early June.
“I think it will be very beneficial to our city,” former mayor John Moore said, while making a motion to approve the financing.
Other agenda items approved during the first regular meeting of the commissioners included the following:
• Continuation of annual support with Presidio Technologies, Inc. for City Network Hardware in the total amount of $14,756.06
• Continuation of annual website support with Civic Plus in the total amount of $15,584.69
• Continuation of annual support with Blackboard Connect for ConnectCTY in the total amount of $27,040.50
• Purchase of maintenance agreement with Tyler Technologies for Incode Application Module in the total amount of $12,100