Archive for June, 2012
Parks and medians throughout the city will soon be a lot greener due to a new water credit system being made available to neighborhood associations. Oklahoma City Council recently approved the Community Beautification Water Program, which will fund water needs for qualifying neighborhood associations.
The Community Beautification Water Program is among the approved programs in the city’s 2012-2013 budget. It aims to enhance the flower beds, trees, and street medians within the city by providing funds to neighborhood associations that would be responsible for watering the areas within their neighborhood. The program will go into effect on July 1 and last through June 30 of next year.
Qualified neighborhood associations will be able to receive a $1,000 annual credit for the cost of water plus a free provision for water meter installation, frost-free hydrants, and backflow preventers. Costs of boring under streets, installing distribution lines, and sprinkler systems, however, are not included in the program.
According to Nancy Anthony, Executive Director of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, funds for watering the trees and plants in parks has become the top issue of neighborhood associations. Through the new Community Beautification Water Program, the concern will be eliminated. Oklahoma City Community Foundation and city officials have been working together nearly six months to finalize the project.
Neighborhood associations may begin submitting their applications for the water credits on July 1. The deadline for applications is on September 1. Only associations that are registered with the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma are qualified to apply.
When it’s time to repaint the exterior of your home, it is best to leave the hard work to professionals. However, if you are saving money and want to do the work yourself, there are a few tricks you should know in order to do it more effectively. Painting your home exterior may sound easy enough, but without the proper knowledge, you will likely end up doubling your expenses due to trial and error.
Here are a few useful tips on how to paint your home exterior:
- Have the all things you need prior to painting. You will need to have a good, sturdy ladder to climb that has a wider step or special shelf on which you can set your can of paint. You will also need good paint brushes and rollers, sandpaper, scrapers, caulking, and putty.
- Do an estimate on how much paint you will need. Multiply the length of each wall by its height and add about 25 to 30 percent on top of that. You want to be sure you have some paint left over for touch-ups later.
- Clean your home exterior first before applying paint. Make sure you remove all of the residue that is stuck on the walls because if you paint over it, your finish will be bumpy and could actually cause damage to your paint job later down the road.
- Remove your lighting fixtures and window screens. You don’t want to get paint on them.
- Repair any cracks, holes, or other damage on your wall before applying paint. Keep in mind that painting should always be the last step in any house project after all of the prep work has been completed.
- Buy paint based on the type of exterior surface you have. If you want the color to be consistent, you need to buy something that will work well with the material and texture of your surfaces.
- Buy oil-based paints for the wood trim along your banisters, doors, and windows. Oil-based paints are tough enough to withstand the elements and protect your wood.
- Sand all rough areas and glossy surfaces before painting. Paint will not stick to glossy surfaces nor will it look right on rough areas.
- Apply primers to raw surfaces before applying two coats of paint. Choose a primer based on the type of surface you have.
- Protect your plants and walkways with drop cloths and masking tape.
In most houses, a bedroom can usually accommodate a wardrobe, a vanity, and a small bedside table, but small bedrooms typically have even less space for storage. Fortunately, there are smart solutions that can help maximize the storage capacity of a small-spaced bedroom, while still maintaining a lovely, relaxing environment with room to breathe.
Below are some smart storage solutions to incorporate into your bedroom:
- Go vertical. Normally, we think of long, horizontal spaces to store books, linens, and picture frames. However, when you’re dealing with a small room, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of that much wall space. So, go with vertical storage units that allow you to hold everything without taking up much floor space.
- Use a sturdy, multi-purpose table. You may even want to make your vanity double as additional storage space. The tabletop can be utilized for bags, clocks, and jewelry items, while the space underneath can be turned into a storage area. To add style, you can use wicker baskets or other organizers to hold items.
- Create more storage in your headboard. If you have a thick headboard, you can use the sides to make book shelves. You may also want to place some of your personal items, like your alarm clock, phone, and keys, on top of your headboard.
- Go under your bed. Use the hollow space beneath your bed to store extra pillows and bed linens or off-season clothes and shoes.
- Floor to ceiling wardrobe. Maximize your closet by filling every space possible. To organize everything, use small compartments for items like gloves, scarves, socks, and undergarments. Install a thin shoe rack below your clothes rack, so you can store all of your shoes in an easily-accessible way without taking up much space.
- Install built-ins. Using built-in cabinets and shelves will not only provide extra spaces to store things, but it will also make your bedroom look more elegant. Paint the inner compartment with a contrasting hue to make it pop.
- Use a dual purpose bench. Buy a bench for your bedroom that you can open and store things inside.
In order to assist new students in enrolling for the 2012-2013 school year, Edmond Public Schools will be offering a summer enrollment center, where early enrollment for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade will be accepted from June 12 until July 26.
Edmond Public Schools aims to provide excellent educational opportunities to all students studying within the school district, and it was with that goal in mind that it decided to create a more convenient venue for enrolling in school. The summer enrollment center will be located at Memorial High School, 1000 E. 15th St., in Edmond. It will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, but will be closed July 4 through July 6.
Prior to enrolling, parents are advised to print off the required forms from the EPS website ahead of time in order to sped up the process once at the center. In addition, parents must bring two verifiable proofs of residency; a legal birth certificate of the student who will be entering prekindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade; immunization records of the student; and a photo identification of the parent. In order for a student to enroll in any Edmond public school, they must have parents, a legal guardian, or a legal custodian who resides within the Edmond Public Schools district.
Going green during the summer can be a bit of a challenge when it becomes hot outside and you want to turn on your air conditioner. However, despite the warm weather, summer can be a great time to start engaging in a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle. Mother Nature serves as a wonderful backdrop for outdoor activities like going to the beach, soaking in the pool, and having a backyard cookout. Spending more time outside will reduce the temptation to blast the AC and, therefore, cut down on your energy usage and electric bills.
To make it easier to go green this summer, here are a few tips:
- Spend the day outside. Every day may not be a barbecue party, but spending several hours outside enjoying the sunshine or sitting under a shade tree or porch, drinking ice cold lemonade and reading a book is just as enjoyable. Have your kids play outside, too, so they’re not sitting inside watching TV or playing on the computer all day.
- Use your windows. Opening your windows circulates fresh air throughout your house and serves as a great way to regulate the temperature of your home without using the air conditioner. Leave them open at night, so the cooler air fills your home. During the day, keep them closed, so the cooler air stays inside and the hot air doesn’t come in as easily.
- Hang your laundry outside to dry. The heat of the sun will dry your wet clothes quite quickly, and you won’t have to plug in your dryer and waste energy.
- Use water wisely. During the summer months, you consume a lot more water in order to hydrate your body, which is important. But, since you’re using more water, it’s also important to be vigilant and try to minimize the amount of water you waste to balance it out. One way you can reduce your water waste is to install low-flow showerheads and faucets. So, even if you stay in the shower a bit longer to cool off, less water is used.
- Add plants around your house. They help to cool your home my providing shade.
- Buy more organic produce. During the summer, local produce is everywhere, so take advantage of the opportunity to eat healthily. Attend farmers’ markets and choose fresh, organic food to keep your family healthy and support growers who don’t use pesticides.
- Avoid using your car. Save gas and energy by walking or riding a bicycle when you’re going somewhere that’s near your house. The extra exercise will be great for your body too.
Over time, as you look around your house, you notice that you begin to accumulate things. Some of the things that seem to accumulate the most are extra cups, plates, and glasses that you buy on sale or purchase so you can be prepared for parties and unexpected guests. Although you do need lots of dining essentials for large parties and holiday get-togethers, they can feel like clutter during your everyday life. The space they take up is disproportionate to the frequency with which they’re used.
When you do not need your extra dining wear, the most practical way to keep them from taking up a ton of kitchen and storage space is to store them in a safe place that will protect them, yet allow them to be easily accessible in case you need them.
Below are some tips on how to store your home breakables effectively without spending a lot of money during the process:
- Use old newspapers to wrap your breakables. Make sure you have enough newspaper to cover the item entirely and provide a thick layer for added protection. Seal the papers with scotch tape or masking tape so they won’t fall apart easily.
- Store your kitchen breakables in a sturdy box. Store all similar items in one box, so you have a box for plates, a box for cups, etc. Just be sure that you choose a box that can support the weight. Label the boxes so you can easily find something if you need it and make sure you seal everything well.
- Create a soft bed of padding before you begin packing the box. You can place used foam, thick bubble wrap, or several crumpled newspapers in the bottom to provide shock support for when boxes are moved. Also, fill the top of the box after placing all your breakables, so they are protected in case the box falls or is stored sideways.
- Fill your cups, mugs, and glasses with crumpled paper as an added protection against breakage.
- Do not forget to label your boxes as FRAGILE. This will alert others to handle them with care in case you are not the one handling them.
- Avoid placing one box on top of another, as the weight of the other items on top can easily crush the items below. If space allows, avoid doing this.
New plans are underway for the construction of a new BancFirst building in Edmond. City planning commissioners have already approved the site plan, and in conjunction with the project, the city will also be replacing the old bridge along Bryant Avenue, where the new bank will be located.
BancFirst is the largest state-chartered bank in Oklahoma and the third largest bank in the state, behind Bank of Oklahoma and Midfirst Bank. It was first organized in 1989 when Chairman H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt merged twelve banks under one state charter.
Currently, the bank serves 119 locations throughout the state. Edmond residents will soon enjoy the benefits of BancFirst in a convenient location on east Bryant Avenue, north of Spring Creek Plaza shopping center. The building will be built on a 2.7-acre lot with a drive-thru, 56 parking spaces, and two bicycle racks.
It is to help ease traffic flow in the area that city officials also announced the bridge replacement Bryant Avenue, north of 15th Street. Officials said that the bridge will be in front of the new branch of BancFirst and they are hoping to rebuild it prior to the bank’s construction. Once the bridge project commences, it will be divided into phases, so one lane will be open for traffic at all times.
Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors