Owasso City Manager Gives State of the City

Managing Editor

BRIGHT FUTURE: Owasso City Manager Warren Lehr gives the State of the City address at the Owasso Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Oct. 1. Lehr discussed the city’s focus on being a City of Character and the January passage of the half penny sales tax.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

On Oct. 1, Owasso City Manager Warren Lehr gave his State of the City address at the Owasso Chamber of Commerce luncheon, where he discussed the city’s unique ability to unite for the common good and some of its recent accomplishments.

“We have real people, real character, real community in Owasso,” he said.

He backed that up with comments made by Macy’s Terry Lundgren, who attributed the company’s decision to locate its fulfillment center in Owasso due to the willingness of area leaders, corporations and organizations to collaborate.

“Our willingness to come together is a brand for us,” Lehr said, as well as is the city’s focus on being a City of Character.

Owasso’s accolades are beginning to stack up.

In 2014, it was ranked third as the best city for homeownership in Oklahoma, due to the fact that more than 70 percent of all homes in the city are owned and monthly homeowner costs represent only 25 percent of median household income.

Owasso tied with Bartlesville for ninth place in movoto.com’s list of top 10 places to live in Oklahoma due to Owasso’s median household income and median home prices.

Owasso was also recently named the number one best Oklahoma suburb to raise a family and as the fourth happiest city in the state based on median household income and average commute time.

The city is also receiving additional funding through the Jan. 13 passage of the half penny sales tax, which accomplished two things, said Lehr.

The increased sales tax has helped to fund the hiring of seven additional police officers, the purchase of land on 116th Street North for fire station No. 4 and almost $2 million in street projects in 2015.

Second, because Owasso’s previous attempt at raising the sales tax had been voted down by residents, “this (recent) passage shows that we are developing the trust and momentum of the public,” said Lehr.

Lehr concluded his presentation with an overview of recently completed commercial projects, including Academy Sports and Outdoors, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Dairy Queen, Paint and Barrel art studio, and Janie & Raye boutique.

“It’s been a great year,” Lehr said in closing. “We will continue to make decisions with the community as top priority.”

Updated 10-27-2015

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