Yukon seeks Canadian County stimulus help

City leaders identify $24 million in priority water, sewer projects

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon city leaders have identified some $24 million in priority water and sewer infrastructure upgrades.

They hope to make a dent in the list of possible projects using federal stimulus funds.

The Yukon City Council recently was presented a list of proposed water line and sewer line replacements, wastewater treatment plant and sewer lift station upgrades, smart water meters, and an arsenic filtration system.

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar

“Our total projected projects are almost $24 million,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar told council members.

The City of Yukon has already earmarked its $4.9 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for water and sewer project costs.

Officials from Yukon and other municipalities have applied for a share of Canadian County’s $28.8 million ARPA allocation to augment their local awards. This combined funding request for water/sewer projects is $13,250,000:

  • Yukon – $4,350,000
  • Mustang – $3,560,000
  • El Reno – $3,500,000
  • Piedmont – $1,330,000
  • Union City – $256,000
  • Heaston – $150,000
  • Calumet – $94,000

The ARPA of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill designed to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing recession.

Municipalities, counties and states recently received half of their respective ARPA dollars. The balance will be provided in 2022.

“We’re also going to be applying for state funds,” Kretchmar added. “They’ve got billions.”

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Yukon’s city manager on Nov. 2 described to city council members the proposed water and sewer infrastructure projects included in Yukon’s ARPA request to Canadian County Commissioners. Here is an overview:

WATER LINE REPLACEMENT ($6,478,971)

The City of Yukon has 1,234,615 feet of water transmission and distribution line and 8,564 service connections. A strong majority the lines are more than 10 years old. A detailed list shows locations of 25 water lines that must be replaced, notably 29,000 feet in the city’s well field.

SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT ($2,213,530)

The City of Yukon has 847,440 of sewer line, primarily gravity line along with force main. More than 70% of Yukon’s sewer lines are 10-plus years old. A detailed list shows locations of 50 sewer lines that must be replaced.

SEWER LIFT STATION UPGRADES ($200,000)

Three of Yukon’s sewer lift stations need to be improved. They are in the Parkland II Addition, Legacy Lakes Addition and Sunrise Addition.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT UPGRADES ($8,921,000)

Repairs and upgrades are needed to Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant, 501 W Wagner Road. The current capacity is 3 million gallons per day and expansion would increase capacity to 5M gpd. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality must re-categorize the plant from an extended aeration facility to a conventional activated sludge facility, requiring nine primary modifications totaling $7 million. The other $1.9 million is for a list of 13 repairs.

SMART WATER METERS ($4,029,734)

This project is designed to improve accuracy in the City of Yukon’s utility billing system. Kretchmar told council members these new meters are needed because “we have so many customers who believe that their water meter is not reading correctly.”

ARSENIC FILTRATION SYSTEM ($2 million)

Filtration systems would be installed at two City of Yukon water wells (Nos. 1 and 4) that have the highest arsenic levels. Annual maintenance is $100,000 for each arsenic removal unit. Four of Yukon’s 15 water wells need treatment. This was preferred over building a treatment plant with the City of Mustang at an estimated $7 million cost; that option also would require purchasing more water leases.

Yukon Vice Mayor Rick Cacini

Vice Mayor Rick Cacini believes it is well past time for Yukon city officials to address these water and sewer infrastructure needs.

“This city, for the last 20-30 years, has not been spending money updating … upgrading our systems,” Cacini said. “To me, it’s an embarrassment.”

Federal stimulus funds will provide just a “drop in the bucket” toward some $250 million worth of repairs and improvements, he added.

“I don’t want everybody to think it’s our (current city council’s) fault,” Cacini added. “We’re going to now have to come up with a solution.”