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December 11, 2012

Hello, Legacy Park; good-bye, granary

NORMAN — The impending demolition of the old Rhodes granary at 602 N. Santa Fe and plans for the construction of Legacy Park are among the items of business coming before city leaders this week.

The Norman City Council will begin discussions about construction of Legacy Park at 5:30 tonight during the City Council Conference at city hall. Discussions also will continue regarding a possible increase in the hotel/motel room tax during the study session.

At the regular 6:30 meeting, city council members will likely approve a demolition contract for the granary. Funding is provided for the project in the FY 2013 Capital Improvement Program Budget, according to city staff reports. The site was purchased by the city in 2008 as a potential site for a new library.

“It’s been becoming costly to secure and police,” said Mayor Cindy Rosenthal. “It makes sense to take it down. We’re going to have to demolish is at some point. It will become an important piece of the city hall complex at some point.”

Staff reviewed bids and recommends the bid be awarded to the low bidder, M & M Wrecking, Inc. for $104,000. Also bidding were Midwest Wrecking, $107,270; RTS Shearing $138,260; and Precision Demolition $192,733.

The city council is also expected to approve the receipt of $68,160 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as reimbursement for damages sustained during the severe weather outbreak on May 10-13, 2010, when tornados and strong winds hit Norman.

The city submitted claims totaling $547,253, 75 percent of which is eligible for FEMA reimbursement. Expected reimbursements total $410,440. So far, the city has received $408,963. The state also operates a public assistance program that provides for 12.5 percent of the remaining 25 percent cost share not covered by FEMA, according to city staff reports

In other city business, Switzer’s Locker Room, L.L.C., requested a rezoning at 3180 S. Classen Boulevard from A-2, Rural Agricultural District, to I-1, Light Industrial District to enlarge the storage facilities on the lot south of this tract. Approximately 1.76 acres would be affected. At the Nov. 8 meeting, the Planning Commission recommended that this ordinance and the companion preliminary plat be approved in an 8-0 vote.

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