By Conrad Dudderar
The City of Yukon’s bond rating has been upgraded, which is expected to mean significant future savings in interest costs.
S&P (Standard & Poor’s) Global recently contacted Yukon city officials about the city’s bond rating, which had been downgraded six years ago due a financial crisis.
“It took a hit,” Yukon City Treasurer Phillip Merry told city council members at a Feb. 1st study session.
After reviewing Yukon’s financial situation, S&P Global has increased the city’s bond rating two notches – from A to AA-.
“Our financial advisor and bond attorney are ecstatic about that, actually,” Merry said.
“It is due largely to the financial improvement of the city over the last six years.”
The increased bond rating will save the City of Yukon “hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest on our bonds,” City Manager Tammy Kretchmar reported.
“Our bond counsel and bond advisor are very happy with us,” she said.
Mayor Shelli Selby noted, “We’ve very happy about that.”
“Thank you to all our city employees in the financial area that work so hard, our city councils before us and this council for managing money so well. This is a huge step.”
GARTH BROOKS TRAIL
Meanwhile, City Manager Kretchmar reported on a multi-use trail project that’s progressing on Garth Brooks Boulevard.
Parathon Construction, an Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) contractor, started construction Aug. 2, 2021, on the new 10-foot-wide sidewalk along the east side of Garth Brooks Boulevard between Vandament and Main Street.
“Our estimated completion date is sometime in the spring,” Kretchmar said this week.
A federal grant is covering about 80% of the estimated $839,473.48 project cost.
Crews are now “in the area of Elm Avenue working toward Highway 66,” the city manager added.
The project length is just over one mile.
Yukon City Council members at their Feb. 1st meeting reviewed photos of improvements that have been made along Garth Brooks Boulevard.
“We’re looking forward to that being done,” Kretchmar said.
Some residents have told Council Member Jeff Wootton that it’s tough for them to get into their newly poured, sloped driveways.
“Like we ran into at the middle school, the angles are kind of tough,” Wootton pointed out.
The City of Yukon recently had to spend an extra $17,935 to have one of the Yukon Middle School driveways re-done to reduce a steep slope that Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort said was “hanging up” some “low-profile” vehicles.
CM Kretchmar said ODOT representatives will be contacted about the issue with the new driveway angles.