Rooney delivers annual update

 

Editor’s Note: Mustang City Manager Timothy Rooney presented his state of the city address at the Mustang Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Jan. 23.
Below are excerpts.

I am blessed with an amazing staff that consistently, and without reservation, explores ways in which to stretch themselves and our organizations – be it through innovation, services offered, programming or saving the citizens of Mustang money.
I’m going to start my discussion of 2019 in Mustang that required a great deal of coordination with Mustang Public Schools — the South Mustang Road widening project.
It not only involved the widening of the paved surface from two lanes to three but also installation of sidewalks and an underground stormwater collection system for this historically troubled drainage area.
If you’re familiar with municipal or state road projects, you know that right-of-way acquisition usually incurs hidden costs that you cannot possibly anticipate.
Why?
Because it usually ends up with the city declaring condemnation.
Mustang had to exercise zero condemnations to make this project a reality.
Zero.
The success of the Mustang Road project can be attributed to Assistant City Manager Justin Battles – his project management skills, his patience and his foresight.
This project will finish around spring break, when the final overlay of asphalt will be laid.

Water Reclamation Facility
In 2019, we finished out wastewater treatment facility expansion – now called our water reclamation facility.
The project not only increased our treatment capacity but also established Mustang as a municipal leader in Oklahoma in water reuse.
We are the first municipal Category II reuse system permitted by the state.
That allows us to treat wastewater to a standard to be used to irrigate all the ballfields in Wild Horse Park.
This is important because the city is the largest water user in Mustang.
Through the reuse, we are freeing up more drinking water for our growing community.
We estimate we will save 15 million gallons per year, savings more than $70,000.
Our reuse operation is such a big deal that we have been asked to participate in panel discussion on a state level, and we will make a similar presentation Toronto this year.
We are one of three finalists for the project of the year recognition from the American Council of Engineering Companies in Oklahoma.

Town Center expansion
The Town Center expansion that was completed this year doubled our gym floor space, added classrooms and expanded our cardio area and walking track.
Last year, our Recreation Center, under the direction of Jean Heasley, had more than 44,000 visits, and our Senior Center had nearly26,000 visits.
We had 6,500 participants in sports leagues, and our Aquatics Center had more than 38,000 visits.
Our new splash pad will open in the spring.

Library
We secured $1.8 million in grants in the 2019 fiscal year.
These grants help every department, but the library, under the direction of Julie Slupe, is the department that works most diligently secure grants.
The library had 139,000 visits in 2019, and nearly 22,000 people participated in its programs.

Fire Department
Chief Craig Carruth and his team put together the specification for our new ladder truck, which is due to arrive in late March or early April.
Oklahoma City adopted our design standards for two new ladder trucks it is purchasing.
It’s always nice when Mustang’s largest suburb copies from us.
The fire department is designing our new fire station.

Community Development
Community Development, under the direction of Melissa Helsel, issued building permits for 190 single-family homes.
That is two more than in 2018 and double the number in 2017.
In order make the permitting process easier, we purchased new software for the development process.

Finance Department
Janet Watts and our Finance Department had a great year keeping us fiscally responsible.
In 2019, Janet was president of the Oklahoma Municipal Clerks, Treasurers and Financial Officers Association.

Police Department
In addition to updating our dispatch system and remodeling our records area, the Police Department worked with architects and engineers on planning a replacement for our Animal Welfare Center.
City council will consider adopting contracts for the facility in February.
We’re building a facility that will address our current needs as well as the needs we anticipate in the future.

50th Birthday
Our four-day 50th Birthday Party involved every department. It ended with blowout bash on Oct. 17.
In closing, I’d like to thank the city council for continuing to select me for job that I love.
Coming to Mustang is the best decision I ever made in my life.

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