By Conrad Dudderar
About 10% of Yukon’s population responded to a community survey that the city council will use to help determine what capital projects to list on an election ballot.
The City of Yukon this week released results of the 2021 Community Survey, which may be found via a link on the city’s website (www.yukonok.gov).
Yukon Public Information Officer Jenna Roberson summarized survey results during the Jan. 4th Yukon City Council work session inside the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th.
Some 2,661 people completed the two-page survey.
“That’s amazing considering what our population in,” Roberson told council members. “That’s over 10%.”
The City of Yukon’s official population is 23,630. Some 98% of survey respondents live in the 73099 zip code and 88% live in Yukon proper.
The top seven ranked “current and future needs” are:
- Resurfacing major city streets
- Water and sewer infrastructure
- Multi-generational and multi-user parks/facilities
- New fire station on southwest side of Yukon
- New community center
- New library
- New veterans museum
The Yukon City Council will consider calling a June election to fund possible capital improvements. Members still must decide what possible projects to include and how they would be funded.
Some 53.85% of Yukon survey respondents indicated they would be in favor a sales tax increase as a funding source. Only 18.66% of respondents favor a property tax increase.
Other suggested funding sources are grants and private donors.
Many of those who selected “no” on sales tax increase wrote in the open-ended responses they would favor a temporary dedicated sales tax “like MAPS”, according to Roberson.
Four times, Oklahoma City voters have approved MAPS proposals to fund significant capital improvement programs.
The 2021 Community Survey showed respondents are generally satisfied with the quality of 1) fire protection, 2) police protection, 3) EMS protection, 4) city events, 5) sanitation services, 6) parks and recreation services, 7) library services, 8) water services, 9) city facilities, and 10) effectiveness of communication with public.
Survey results show respondents are generally dissatisfied with the quality of 1) major city streets, 2) neighborhood streets, 3) aquatic facilities, and 4) pedestrian accessibility (neutral).
“I thought the dissatisfaction on the major streets would be greater,” Mayor Shelli Selby said after reviewing the data. “So, that surprises me.”
FRISCO ROAD PROPERTY
The City of Yukon owns about 160 acres at the southwest corner of Main Street and Frisco Road. A $18 million bond issue proposal to fund a new sports complex on this site was defeated by voters in March 2017.
The Frisco Road property is now being leased as pastureland, but Yukon city officials still envision new development there.
In the Yukon Community Survey, respondents were asked to list their top priorities for this site.
Survey results indicate the top 10 ranked priorities for the Frisco Road property are: Walking trails, playground, bike trails, indoor aquatic center, community center, athletic fields/courts, outdoor aquatic center, fishing pond, library, and dog park.
“A lot of the things that improve our quality of life can be paid for with outside revenue,” Ward 4 City Council Member Aric Gilliland said.
Gilliland is a proponent of developing the Frisco Road land as a sports park/recreation complex that hosts athletic tournaments.
He believes this would generate substantial sales tax proceeds for the City of Yukon.
“If we invest in this, we’re bringing in dollars instead of sending out dollars,” Gilliland added. “And we have a way to pay for these quality-of-life improvements.”
Mayor Selby appreciates Yukon residents who responded and shared their opinions in this community survey.
“I love that we’re hearing from the people,” Selby said. “It’s not us (the city council) just talking to our friends or to the people we have contact with.
“But it’s the city-wide. People who maybe never would have spoken up.”
Besides the survey, Yukon city officials received public feedback from three town hall forums last fall.
City leaders want to develop a capital improvement plan that “encompasses everybody’s ideas,” the mayor noted.
“We’re not going to please everyone but are trying to meet the majority of what the city wants moving forward,” Selby said. “This was a very innovative way to do it.”