By Traci Chapman
EL RENO – With a funding mechanism in place, final stage designs ongoing and an early 2020 target date to bid the project, Canadian County Commissioners are poised to start off the new year with an official start to construction of a new county fairgrounds.
County Commission Chairman David Anderson confirmed Monday the three-member board hoped to put the project’s $15.8 million first phase out to bid in late January.
Beginning that month, commissioners – in their role as trustees of the county Public Facilities Authority – plan to meet weekly to process claims for that project as they are received, the chairman said.
That process began Monday, with trustees approving payment totaling $245,774 to the fairground architect, Populous, and another $1,600 to Jag Underground, a Newcastle water and sewer line contractor.
Those are among the final steps needed before ground is broken on the project, officials said.
Commissioners recently secured a $3.505 million use tax revenue pledge to bridge a funding gap that briefly threatened to derail the project’s first phase.
Commissioners first unanimously approved a resolution allowing them to incur debt through issuance of a use tax revenue note, a note later approved by Canadian County Public Facilities Authority during a special Dec. 2 meeting.
The board this Monday approved transfer of county use tax to pay for fairgrounds-related construction expenses.
The new fairgrounds and expo center will be built on 50 acres of land at Alfadale and Jensen roads just south of Interstate 40.
IN OTHER ACTION
Also Monday, county commissioners approved a $30,640 2020 fiscal year membership fee in the Oklahoma City Economic Development Foundation for the Greater OKC Partnership.
The partnership brings together a region of 10 counties and other partners, including municipalities, chambers of commerce, state government, utilities and other entities that work together to promote economic development in the entire central Oklahoma region, rather than individual communities, officials said.
In addition to Canadian and Oklahoma counties, several counties and cities are active in the partnership, including Cleveland, Grady, Kingfisher, Logan and Pottawatomie counties, and municipalities like Mustang, Yukon, Piedmont, El Reno, Tuttle, Oklahoma City and several others.
In other business Monday, commissioners approved an agreement with City of Yukon for a $300,000 bridge improvement project in the 4000 block of N Gregory Road.