Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

February 19, 2014

Council tables stormwater exemption issue

CLAREMORE —

Before a standing-room only crowd, the Claremore City Council voted Monday to table an ordinance amending the new Stormwater System Service Charge.
The measure to “remove and clarify exemptions for metered customers located within rights of way” will be placed on the agenda for the March 3 meeting.
Attorney Larry Rahmeier, business owner Paul Pixley and State Rep. Marty Quinn spoke in opposition of the charge which went into effect Jan. 1.
Last year, the council voted 8-0 in favor of a monthly charge on utility bills with the revenue designated for stormwater system improvements. It is a $2.50 flat fee for residential properties and a sliding fee for businesses, based on property size.
“The (original) ordinance included exemptions for property located in rights of way, including highways and railroad right of way,” City Manager Jim Thomas said in the agenda information. “The intention was to clarify that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the railroads, and other entities that are not otherwise served by city utilities would not be assessed a service charge for such items as the railroad and streets and roads. As a legal and practical matter, there is no way to assess a charge against these entities.”
The city has since discovered that six businesses are also located within railroad right of way but are city utility customers.
“It was not the intent of the city to exempt these businesses,” Thomas said. 
The new ordinance will clarify the 2013 ordinance by providing that the only properties exempt from the service charge are those not served by city utilities.
Pixley, owner of Pixley Lumber,  said the charge has “created a burden” for a number of entities, including business owners, churches and charities that he says “bear a tremendous percentage of the billing.”
Quinn, who owns a Shelter Insurance office, told the council he has been contacted by citizens who are upset by the fee.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014

  • Jennifer Hodges Claremont Elementary teacher named the winner of $2,500 classroom grant

    Jennifer Hodges, a fifth grade teacher at Claremont Elementary, has been named winner of a $2,500 grant through the Farmers Insurance Thank A Million Teachers program. The national initiative invites citizens to offer thanks to teachers, past and present, who have made a difference in their lives.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners hire outside counsel

    The Rogers County Commissioners hired outside legal counsel Monday to contest the $28 million civil judgment paid to Material Service Corp.

    April 16, 2014