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City

39 national firms contacted by Piedmont retail developer

 
By Tim Farley
News Editor

Rickey Hayes thoughts graphic

39!…Rickey don’t lose that number

Rickey Hayes, of Owasso-based Retail Attractions, is recruiting restaurants and other retail businesses to locate in Piedmont. Hayes met with city officials and citizens Wednesday to discuss potential new businesses.
(Graphic by Becky Pearce)

A retail development firm hired to attract more businesses to Piedmont has contacted 39 companies about locating here, according to the company’s latest activity log.

Rickey Hayes, owner of Owasso-based Retail Attractions, Inc., submitted a report that shows he contacted numerous national chains that own multiple brands. The contacts included Advance Auto Parts, Luby’s, Family Dollar Stores, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Sprint Nextel Corporation, AT&T Mobility, Wendy’s and Mexican Restaurants, Inc., which owns five restaurant brands.

Hayes wrote in his report that he also contacted grocery outlets Reasor’s, Homeland and Aldi’s about new store sites and development strategies in Piedmont.

Piedmont attracted Tuttle-based Williams Grocery Store in 2012 when the city council approved a 15-year sales tax rebate agreement. The pact requires the city to return $1.9 million to the store during the life of the agreement. City officials have said they pay Williams at least $10,000 a month in rebates.

Hayes also contacted clothing and shoe stores such as Claire’s, Name Brands, Maurice’s and Payless Shoes.

City Manager Jason Orr said some of the companies have been “very receptive.” He declined further comment. Hayes was unavailable for comment on the report.

Hayes also wrote in the report that he contacted Furniture Factory Outlet, Children’s Orchard and Winmark Corporation, which owns Plato’s Closet, Music Go Round, Play It Again Sports and Pete First.

The retail development work for Piedmont also took Hayes to a Dallas conference that included a “lot of site selectors,” Orr said. Read more →

City manager Orr proposes hiring retail store specialist

Jason Orr, Piedmont City Manager

Jason Orr, Piedmont City Manager

By Tim Farley
News Editor

Piedmont’s city council will decide Monday if it wants to hire an economic development firm that specializes in attracting retail outlets.

The firm, Retail Attractions of Owasso, has worked with dozens of Oklahoma municipalities plus others in Missouri, Kansas and Texas. The proposed contract with Piedmont calls for the company to be paid $4,000 a month for its services. The company is owned by Rickey Hayes of Owasso.

Piedmont’s city council has made retail development one of its top priorities so the city can maintain its infrastructure, including streets and roads, water and sewer.

City Manager Jason Orr said increasing the sales tax base should be the number one concern in Piedmont.

Read more →

Newspaper contends school board improperly hired softball coach

Roger Pugh
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Piedmont Board of Education voted Monday to hire a new girls softball coach, but the  Piedmont-Surrey Gazette maintains the board did not follow proper legal procedures in making the hire.

Gazette editor Roger Pugh attempted to object when the motion was made and seconded at the board meeting to  accept all of the retirement, resignations, employment and reemployment listed on Attachment A to the board agenda. Included on that attachment were the names of all of the people resigning, retiring, being reemployed, and newly employed, except for one, the name of the teacher/softball coach the board wanted to hire.

As Pugh was attempting to explain his concerns and to ask the board a question about the procedure, board chairman  Stanley Nance cut him off.

“We are in the middle of vote here. That’s a personnel matter and you need to take that up with the superintendent,” Nance said.

Nance then conducted the vote, and the board unanimously approved the adoption of schedule A, which included the unnamed coach.

Pugh later said he was trying to advise the board that the hire was not proper because no one was named. He also said he was concerned that the executive session that was held previous to the employment vote might be illegal and if not, certainly violated the spirit of the law because the law says, among other things, a public board is to identify, who is being discussed in executive session. Read more →

School patron asks questions

 

Roger Pugh
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont school district parent Shelly Torres told the school board she was appearing before them Monday because she could not get answers elsewhere to some questions she had about how funds were handled during the regional girl’ softball tournament.

She said she worked the gate for a softball regional tournament in Oct. of 2015 and was told by both Athletic Director Tom Ewing and Dr. James White, Superintendent of Piedmont Schools that tickets were not given out to anyone.

Torres said the two also told her they would decide how much to pay the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association (OSSAA). OSSAA gets the gate collection at regional and state events.

At the end of the game Torres said she calculated the gate money and concession funds on her dated and time stamped notepad and handed the money and a full roll of tickets to Ewing. The tickets were supplied by OSSAA.

She said shortly after, head softball Coach Scott encountered problems with the school administration. He was later dismissed as softball coach by White.

Torres said she later contacted OSSAA when she learned that she was supposed to give out tickets to paying attendees as required by OSSAA rules.

In a later interview following her brief appearance before the school board Monday, Torres said OSSAA pulled Piedmont’s file and told her 63 tickets were gone from the roll, which equals $315 in receipts. However, Torres said her dated and time stamped document showed they had collected $515. She also explained that she looked at the softball detailed operating account (DOA) and there was not a $515.00 deposit showing for that day. Read more →

Piedmont police respond to threat against Piedmont High School

Roger Pugh
Publisher

Piedmont Police Chief Scott Singer said his department knows of no credible threat, but police will make a strong presence at Piedmont schools Monday in response to a threat investigated several weeks ago and that threat’s reference to Dec. 14: the date of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings.

Following the department’s investigation of the threat, the findings of the investigation were turned over to the District Attorney’s office. Singer said because the matter involves a juvenile, he could not specifically say if, or how the youth involved was being monitored. Read more →

Piedmont Councilman admitted to hospital

Roger Pugh
editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont City Councilman Bobby Williamson was hospitalized Thursday after he fell following a dizzy spell.Bobby Williamson -mug

He has been admitted to Integris Hospital where he is undergoing tests to determine the problem.

Williamson said he suffered additional episodes at the hospital and has been battling nausea since arriving at Integris.

The councilman said a CAT scan and MRI turned out normal, but doctors are doing additional testing before ruling out a mini stroke. He is also being medically treated as a stroke victim. He suffered such a mini stroke last year while working on a project out-of-state for his Piedmont Glass Company.

Updates will be posted as they become available.

Scott done in Piedmont

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

A turbulent season for Piedmont head softball coach Rick Scott is over and, apparently, so is his tenure in Piedmont.

Scott submitted his resignation to the Piedmont administration last week, he confirmed to The Gazette, but days later had a change of heart. The administration considered the matter closed, however.

“Coach Scott has resigned his softball duties and we have accepted his resignation,” Piedmont schools Superintendent James White told The Gazette Friday afternoon. “The process will start fairly soon on advertising the position and interviewing candidates to fill the position.”

It was clear, though, that Scott fully intended to return to coach next season. As recently as Thursday, he planned on doing so.

“I wasn’t allowed to pull my resignation,” Scott said. “I hate that it’s happened this way.”

Scott led Piedmont to 10 state tournaments in 14 seasons, but did so with controversy along the way, this season in particular. Scott was suspended for two games after an incident with fans at a game in El Reno this season.

White declined to elaborate on the reason’s for declining to acknowledge Scott’s apparent change of heart, choosing only to cite the decision as a personnel matter.

“We appreciate coach Scott’s effort and wish him nothing but the best moving forward,” he said.

Scott isn’t sure what’s next for him, he said, but hopes to coach somewhere next season.

“It’s been an honor and a privelage to work at Piedmont,” he said. “I’m not bitter at all. I’ll let what’s going to happen, happen. I’d like to thank all those who have supported me and the program throughout the years.”

Road Construction News

The City of Piedmont reports Moffat Road NW is now open to Rock Cliff Way as is Rock Cliff Circle from the East  and improvements on Lake Road are now also complete. Work is in progress on 234th between Cemetary and Frisco, and Frisco between 206th & 234th

Weather permitting, work will begin Sept. 14 and is scheduled for completion on Sept. 18 for Jackson NW from Piedmont Rd to Stout, and improvements on Monroe NW to Stout from will be done  Sept. 21-25.

Federal judge grants motion to dismiss suit

 

Allows developer to amend suit against city, city officials, leaving door open to move suit forward.

 

Roger Pugh
Publisher

Federal Judge Stephen P. Friot last week granted the City of Piedmont and several current and former city officials’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by a local developer, but the judge left the door open for the law suit to move forward.

Cindy Boevers and Reta Stubhar filed a lawsuit against the City of Piedmont along with former city councilman Charles Coffman, and current councilmen Al Gleichmann and Donnie Robinson. Planning commissioners Eric Berger and Ron Cardwell were also named in the suit which alleges the defendants violated their equal protection and due process.

The complaint contends plaintiffs Boevers and Strubhar are developing the 80.82 acre Magnolia Meadows in Piedmont. They contend they met all of the state and local requirements and obtained an approval recommendation from the city staff.

They allege that on Aug. 25, 2014 when the plat was before the city council for approval, Coffman, Gleichmann and Robinson “abruptly, and without permission excused themselves from the assembly, claiming a conflict of interest.”

The suit says that action destroyed the quorum required for the council to conduct business. The plaintiffs maintain the councilmen should have abstained from voting if a conflict of interest existed. Read more →

Heavy rains, flooding destroy Piedmont’s already worn roads

Storms that brought heavy rains and flooding to the Piedmont area this week have taken a toll on area roads already in poor condition. Below are pictures of three separate areas in Piedmont damaged by record rainfall amounts.

For a full report, see next week’s Piedmont Gazette. All photos were provided by Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan.

Photo by Andy Logan This road at 234th between Cemetery and Frisco shows cracks and craves due to the recent storms.

Photo by Andy Logan
This road at 234th between Cemetery and Frisco shows cracks and craves due to the recent storms.

 

A portion of this road at 234th between Piedmont and Cemtery Roads has completely collapsed and remains closed.

A portion of this road at 234th between Piedmont and Cemtery Roads has completely collapsed and remains closed.

A portion Frisco Road between 234th and 206th collapsed due to recent heavy rains. It remains closed.

A portion Frisco Road between 234th and 206th collapsed due to recent heavy rains. It remains closed.

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