By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
With no protests lodged, Canadian County Commissioners have formally accepted a petition to create a road improvement district in far northeast Canadian County.
Commissioners approved a resolution this week to help members of the Piedmont Meadows Homeowners Association finance reconstruction of crumbling roads in their subdivision.
At a public hearing July 13, the commissioners approved a resolution acknowledging there were “no successful protests” to creating the road improvement district.
With the county commission’s approval, Piedmont Meadows’ members have selected Piedmont’s Ron Cardwell as their engineer. Cardwell will file plans, profiles, specifications, and cost estimates with Canadian County for the proposed road project.
The association needed the county’s OK to create the road improvement district to help finance rebuilding their private roads. There are 19 parcels in the rural addition just southwest of the “Four Corners” intersection at Waterloo (248th St.) and County Line Road.
Members of the Piedmont Meadows Homeowners Association will pay for the proposed road repairs through a county assessment process.
This is a first for Canadian County – and rare among counties across Oklahoma, Canadian County Commission Chairman Marc Hader noted.
“I have visited with a number of homeowners,” Hader said at Monday morning’s public hearing. “This will provide you the financing mechanism.”
Piedmont Meadows’ homeowners will pay for the road upgrades through a 10-year assessment; a millage that will be collected through their property taxes. Each property owner’s share will be based on their parcel size.
The assessment amount will be determined once the estimated project cost is finalized.
This process benefits the homeowners’ association, which otherwise would have to collect from individual property owners.
NOT PUBLIC ROADS
The Piedmont Meadows Association had wanted roads in their addition to become public, but commissioners were against having Canadian County assume maintenance responsibility.
“We don’t want to set a precedent,” said Hader, the District 1 commissioner.
Canadian Commissioners already are responsible for about 950 miles of public road and have a challenging time maintaining the current inventory, he noted.
“We’re not anxious to add any more,” Hader said.
Cardwell, who is consulting with Piedmont Meadows to facilitate this effort, said the homeowners’ association has agreed to maintain the new roads after they’re built by a private contractor.
The housing development’s reconstructed roads will be four inches of asphalt/concrete pavement, 22 feet wide.
Cardwell, the Oklahoma County District 3 road superintendent, said establishing this improvement district provides an avenue for homeowners to obtain funding to build roads to “heavy duty” standards so they last.
The Piedmont Meadows housing addition was built in 2007 and has been plagued by deteriorating roads.
“It’s been bad for a while,” Hader said.
A problem occurs in some subdivisions when developers do not know how to properly install roads that start falling apart in just a few years, county officials said.
District 3 Commissioner Jack Stewart said a road improvement district is the “right way” to handle this situation due to the poor road conditions.
“I’m proud of you guys for going down this route,” Stewart told the Piedmont Meadows’ homeowners.
“You definitely need to do what you’re doing.”
The construction costs would be repaid over 10 years.