City Beat
Your city, your news
February 9, 2021
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What's New
Crews work to clear icy roads after storm
Sanitation trucks running as scheduled where conditions allow

City Street Department crews have worked around the clock since Sunday to clear roads and intersections after a winter storm left much of Bartlesville under ice.

"We're rotating 12-hour shifts to keep as many trucks out as possible at all times and we'll continue to do that for as long as we need to," Street Department Supervisor Lance Brown said this morning.

Brown said crews are working in accordance with the City's Snow and Ice Removal Policy, treating main arterials first, then collector streets and residential areas.

"We've been hitting the arterials repeatedly to keep those clear as well as some of the secondary streets. We started working in neighborhoods yesterday. We'll continue to cover those areas as much as we can," he said.

Traffic accidents

As of this morning, Bartlesville Police Department officers have responded to 15 traffic accidents since Sunday. Police officials say the accidents reported have primarily been vehicles sliding off the roadway and that no fatalities had occurred. The department responded to 14 stranded motorists calls as well.

BPD Capt. Jay Hastings cautioned everyone who can to stay inside due to the icy conditions — not only involving streets but sidewalks and driveways as well.

"There have been several ambulance calls since Sunday due to people falling on the ice," Hastings said. "We are encouraging everyone to stay inside as much as possible. The sidewalks and driveways are still extremely slick and should be avoided if possible."

Trash collection

Sanitation crews are running trash routes as normally scheduled, where conditions allow. Public Works Director Keith Henry said any trash that isn't picked up due to road conditions will be picked up as soon as streets are clear enough to do so.

"If you live on a steep incline, we may not be able to get to you today, but we are trying," Henry said. "If we don't get it today, just leave it out and we'll try to get it tomorrow."

Recycle Center, CityRide, Adams Golf Club closed

  • Adams Golf Club is closed and will remain closed until temperatures improve.
  • The City Recycle Center, located at 10th Street and Virginia Avenue, is also closed until conditions improve.
  • CityRide, the City's public transit system, is not operating today due to road conditions.

All other City services and facilities are operating as normally scheduled. For more information about the City's practices during inclement weather or to view the Snow and Ice Removal Policy, see www.cityofbartlesville.org.
Public transit system to hold virtual forums
Input sought from community on public transportation issues
United Community Action Program/Cimarron Public Transit will hold virtual community forums Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 for several Oklahoma counties, including Washington County.

The forums are being held to obtain input from riders, local businesses, municipalities, social service agencies, tribes, private providers, health facilities, elected officials and the general public to assist in preparing for the future.

UCAP/CPT operates the City of Bartlesville's CityRide program, which provides low cost transportation inside the Bartlesville city limits.

Video meetings are scheduled as follows:
Feb 17, 2021, 10-11 a.m.

Feb 18, 2021, 1-2:00 p.m.

Those unable to attend a meeting can submit responses by email to lcorff@ucapinc.org, by fax to 580-718-0981 or by mail to 501 Sixth Street, Pawnee, OK 74058. For more information, contact Corff at 918.762.3041 Ext. 181 or lcorff@ucapinc.org.
Your Questions
BPD, FBI agreement: The weapons clause; plus Popeye's & Burger Hop
By Kelli Williams
Is it true that Bartlesville police officers participating in the new FBI task force won't be carrying firearms?

In short: No, it's not.

This erroneous report stemmed from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) approved by the City Council during a public meeting on Feb. 1 between the City of Bartlesville and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The MOU allows Bartlesville Police Department officers to participate in the Tulsa Safe Trails Task Force, a task force that was created to help the state deal with jurisdictional issues created by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in July 2020.

City Beat readers may recall an agreement approved by the council in November 2020 cross deputizing Bartlesville police and Tribal police. This gave both law enforcement entities jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by and/or against enrolled members of Indian tribes. This was necessary due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which found that the State of Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by and/or against enrolled members of Indian tribes within Indian Country.

"Indian Country" is described as all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. This includes Bartlesville, which lies completely within the reservation of the Cherokee Nation. The council voted in support of this agreement, which gave Bartlesville police the authority to enforce Oklahoma laws even in cases where the defendant and/or the victim of the crime is an Indian tribe member.

The MOU approved Feb. 1 with the FBI extends jurisdiction in U.S. Federal Court for participating members of the newly formed Tulsa Safe Trails Task Force, essentially giving local law enforcement jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute federal cases occurring in Bartlesville, which, of course, is located within the Cherokee Nation reservation.

It might be important to note the mission of the Tulsa STTF is "to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, crimes of violence such as murder and aggravated assault, robbery, and violent street gangs, as well as to intensely focus on the apprehension of dangerous fugitives where there is or may be a federal investigative interest," the MOU states. Further, the agreement points out, "the STTF will enhance the effectiveness of federal/state/local law enforcement resources through a well-coordinated initiative seeking the most effective investigative/prosecutive avenues by which to convict and incarcerate dangerous offenders."

What does any of this have to do with BPD officers/task force members carrying or not carrying lethal weapons? Well, nothing, really. Except that there is a small clause in the MOU stating that task force officers must be trained and approved by their own agencies to carry weapons that are "less than lethal" while working on task force cases. This essentially means anything other than firearms, including such items as rubber bullets, tasers and the like.

So to clarify: BPD officers will continue to carry their department-issued firearms, including while working on task force cases. Additionally, while working task force cases they will be allowed to carry the non-lethal weapons for which they have been trained and approved to carry by the Bartlesville Police Department.

Just wondering

I was wondering what is happening with the Burger Hop building at  900 S.W. Frank Phillips Blvd.?

The Community Development Department has not yet received any official information on plans for this location, but indications are it will be a medical marijuana dispensary.

Are we there yet?

When will Popeyes open?

The Community Development Department has not received a target date for completion of the restaurant, which will be located in the former Sooner Motel site on Washington Boulevard. The project is still in plan review at this time.

Correction
In the Feb. 2 edition of City Beat, the answer to a question about the city's outdoor weather warning system contained incorrect information. Testing of the siren system is done at 1:15 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, weather permitting, not every Monday as stated. (The alternate test day is the second Monday of the month, also weather permitting.) Also, maintenance of the system is performed by the City of Bartlesville, not Washington County Emergency Management. WCEM only monitors, tests and activates the sirens on behalf of the City. We apologize for the error.
News & Updates
Bird Rides bringing more scooters to town
Company to launch program in Bartlesville with 75 scooters
Bird Rides plans to bring a second electric scooter program to Bartlesville with the launching of 75 dockless scooters in the city by the end of February.

The City Council approved a contract with the company allowing it to operate within Bartlesville city limits under a similar agreement approved by the council in December 2020 with Lime Scooters.

Community Development Director Lisa Beeman said the only difference in the programs is the scooters themselves.

"The only difference is that the type of dockless electric scooters proposed for Bird have different specifications and are capable of achieving a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour and a maximum distance range on a full battery of approximately 30 miles," Beeman said.

In exchange for approval to operate the program, the agreement provides a fee of five cents per trip taken on any Bird device to be paid monthly by Bird to the City. The agreement also authorizes use on public rights-of-way and allows users to park scooters on city sidewalks as long as they do not obstruct pedestrian traffic.

Other provisions in the one-year contract include:

  • Users must be 18 or older
  • A driver's license is not required
  • Users must have their own data network and device necessary to use the service
  • Riders limited to one person per scooter
  • Users are responsible for fees if used inappropriately or left in a place the scooter shouldn't be
  • Users must comply with all City and State laws as any car or motorist

"These e-scooters are being used to serve micromobility transportation needs, or trips that are three miles or fewer in distance that can be served by small and light personal-mobility options, like Lime and Bird. Providing an affordable transportation service for the community, these scooters are a reflection of changes in transportation modes across the world. We welcome Bird to the dockless mobility-sharing market in Bartlesville."

Beeman said the use of e-scooters in the community will be evaluated by the Transportation Community this spring. Bird currently operates in Tulsa and plans to expand to other Oklahoma cities during 2021. The Bartlesville program is set to launch Feb. 26.
Popular history book now available at BAHM
History museum staff reprints work of Margaret Withers Teague
Bartlesville Area History Museum staff have reprinted the work of Margaret Withers Teague, who penned an in-depth look at Washington County history in her book "History of Washington County and Surrounding Area."

The book, which has been out of print for some time, is for sale at the museum, located on the fifth floor of City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave. in downtown Bartlesville, as well as online.

Teague, who passed away in 1994, became the inaugural Bartlesville Area History Museum curator in 1964. She researched and wrote the history of Washington County in 1967 and 1968.

"This book is special because it is a long requested reprint of Mrs. Teague’s original text," said Museum Coordinator Delaney Chidester. "The 1967 first edition was produced as a work project with only 100 copies printed. The popularity was overwhelming as the book quickly sold out and has since become the basis of our local history."

Teague's research continued and, in 1968, a second volume was produced with 250 printed copies, which also sold quickly.

"Older, original editions are next to impossible to find," Chidester said.

"All original text is the same," Chidester said, "but the formatting has been updated for ease of reading and subject-supporting photos have been added, making this book the authority on local history in Washington County."

The hardcover book is available in the BAHM Gift Shop for $18.99 (plus tax) and through the online gift shop.

"Our gift shop also has dozens of titles of interest to local and Oklahoma history readers, from cookbooks to works by local authors," Chidester said. "We are pleased to add this book to our gift shop's offerings."

Book sales are a part of the BAHM Gift Shop, which is operated by the Friends of BAHM. All sales in the gift shop help fund projects that further the mission of the history museum.

The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free, though donations are always welcome. 
Volunteer Opportunities
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Board, Committee & Commission Openings

The City of Bartlesville has numerous boards, committees and commissions that are driven by citizen volunteers. All citizens are encouraged and welcome to apply.

Board applications are located online and in the city manager’s office, located on the second floor of City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave. Applications are kept on file for two years. To view a complete list, see Boards, Committees & Commissions.

The City currently has the following committee/board openings:

  • Two openings on the Ambulance Commission
  • One opening on the Construction and Fire Code Appeals Board
  • Two openings on the Library Board
  • One opening on the White Rose Cemetery Board

For more information, visit the City's website, www.cityofbartlesville.org.
Help Wanted
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Job Listing

The City of Bartlesville is currently accepting applications for the following positions:

Firefighter - Fire Department
Construction Crew Leader - Water Department
Construction Laborer - Water Department
Sanitation Collector - Public Works
Maintenance Worker - Wastewater

For an application or more information, visit the City's website, www.cityofbartlesville.org.
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Kelli Williams, Editor
401 S. Johnstone Ave.
Bartlesville, OK 74003
918-338-4132