CommunityOpinionTown

Zoning Revamp Plus Town Board Decisions

Bison Blinds

Do you have opinions about zoning? Ever gone through a permit process to build or remodel or pursue plans for a business? How do you feel about dumpsters in a yard in town neighborhoods or do you prefer the look of carts that are rolled away when it’s not “trash day?” What about semis parked on residential streets? Boats, RVs, and shipping containers in the yard? Garage conversions to apartments? How tiny should a tiny home be? Do you know much about setbacks or easements?

Whether you lean more toward “live and let live,” or find yourself wishing “they” would clean that up, or whether you want to “keep Luther a bedroom community,” or recognize that growth is coming, there’s an opportunity to learn more about the whole zoning and planning process and have your voice heard.

The Town of Luther has hired a company to review the town’s zoning ordinance and update it. The public is invited to be part of a conversation to get the project rolling. While residents might not give the whole planning issue much thought – others make a career out of it with a mission to improve the quality of life for residents and spur economic development.

Read more about the Kick-Off meeting on the Town of Luther’s website. But more importantly, come to the meeting on Tuesday, June 20, at 6:30 PM, at Town Hall (108 S. Main).

From the archives. Read this 2018 article about Luther’s Comprehensive Plan

From 2018.

WANTED: Applications for Trustee and Parks Commissioner

Two resignations were tendered at the June meeting of the Luther Board of Trustees. Both Trustee Josh Rowton and Parks Commissioner Rosemarie Strong resigned, and the board voted to accept letters of interest for each position through July 7 with a plan to review applications (and maybe appoint) at the July 11 trustee meeting.

While a trustee must live within town limits and be a registered voter to be eligible to serve, parks commissioners, who serve in an advisory only role to the Board, can live outside of town. Both Rowton and Strong indicated their joy in serving, and regrets about having to resign. Don’t we get it? Life. Work. Time. Priorities. They can change in the blink of an eye.

Dr. Strong indicated she would continue to serve with the fund-raising arm of parks, the separate Friends of the Park non-profit that is not as bound by the rules governing open meetings and rigid meeting schedules.

Thanks to both of them. I will miss Rowton’s perspective, scripture references, and his guiding principle that local government can save the Republic. I am always grateful for Dr. Strong’s sunny outlook, encouragement, and wisdom. I am grateful that she continues to serve on the Luther School Board, and is committed to improving her profession in the veterinary world.

Serving in any capacity as a volunteer, whether elected or appointed, is selfless in many ways and can be gratifying with a warm satisfaction that you make a difference. (Insert the same for those who work in public service!) But oh, it can also be a grind! (That goes for the volunteers and those that get a paycheck). For a leader, the minimum is showing up for meetings and voting (ideally you do a lot of prep work and open your emails!). You must also surrender your calendar around meeting schedules, open (and read) a lot of email, spend hours researching, listening and sometimes getting criticized. It’s the system we have, good or bad.

So who wants to apply? Send your letters to Town Hall.

To apply for Trustee or Parks Commissioner, send a letter of interest:

  • Mail it. PO Box 56, Luther, OK 73054
  • Drop it off. 108 S Main, Luther, OK
  • Email it. office@townoflutherok.com

Utility Rate Hike and a New Budget

We can’t get away from increased costs on everything. That also goes for utility rates for Luther Public Works Authority customers. The Town Board of Trustees approved a rate hike, effective August 1, 2023, for water, sewer and trash customers. The increase amounts to about $5.30 a month for customers who get the base level of services, and will bring rates in line with “similarly situated communities.” The projected revenue will continue to relieve the Town from subsidizing the public works. Incidentally, the municipal professionals tell us that public works revenue should not only pay for itself, but also cover costs for repairs and updates, and pitch in for town operations. That hasn’t been the case in Luther but it’s a goal the leadership is moving toward. The rate hike, plus a dedicated half-cent sales tax is helping to (slowly) modernize the system.

The Board also passed the budget for the Town and PWA, effective July 1, 2023. Capital improvement projects on the way! Do you sign up for agenda notices on the town website? Look for the signup on the footer of the front page.


MOW THE PARK!!!

The chair of the Luther Parks Commission, at the Trustee meeting, made a case to hire outside contractors to mow Wildhorse Park and the new Luther Route 66 DiscGolfPark. The Board listened, asked questions, and will take up the issue again at a Special Meeting on June 20 (after the Zoning Kick-Off meeting mentioned above). Kasey Wood said the new attractions are drawing more visitors to town, and are being enjoyed by residents. She said those who donated funds to the projects are complaining about the upkeep, or apparent lack of it, during this rain and growing season. The disc golf park is tricky because before it was this new attraction, it was a dense wild woods. The area was painstakingly hacked into this new attraction by volunteers but still there’s stubborn underbrush, stumps, and fast growing weeds. Incidentally, even thought the disc golf course opened in April, it won’t be “tournament ready” until next year. The course is free for play, but organized tournaments are expected to bring in revenue. Taming it – including spraying for ticks, eradicating stickers, and keeping a clean path to the tee pads – is a whole new world of equipment maintenance, time, and attention. Normally, the LPWA staff handles the chores of the mowing season with some part-time help. The town attorney added to the discussion that hiring outside contractors is a trend among municipalities to get those tasks handled. So far, bids from contractors come in at $200 – $500 per mow/treatment to $20,000 for the season.


Thanks for reading!


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