By Conrad Dudderar
Members will be appointed to a new Citizens Advisory Board that will help the city council develop a capital improvements proposal for Yukon voters to consider.
The 12-member committee is expected to start meeting next month as City of Yukon officials decide which projects to list on a ballot for a possible August special election.
Members will use feedback from last fall’s town hall meetings and input citizens provided in a community survey.
“We are proposing an advisory board that will identify the capital projects as well as funding sources, and then present that recommendation to the city council,” Assistant to the City Manager Jason Beal said.
“It will be up to the city council to make the final vote to proceed and how to proceed.”
The Yukon Citizens Advisory Board will consider suggested capital projects like a multi-use and multi-generational park, recreation facilities, new community center, new public library, third fire station, interior street improvements, and water-sewer infrastructure upgrades.
The committee may address possible future development of city-owned property at Frisco Road and Highway 66, which is now being leased as pastureland.
Funding options include a dedicated sales tax, an ad valorem (property) tax increase or bond issue.
“If they decide to recommend some type of funding source that would require a special election and vote of the people, the next date to call a special election would be August 23,” Beal explained during the Feb. 15th city council study session. “And council would have to approve the ballot language and the resolution most likely at the second meeting of May.
“If they don’t have a recommendation at that time, then the next best (election) date would be in January 2023.”
COUNCIL TO APPROVE MEMBERS
The Yukon City Council will consider approving Citizens Advisory Board representatives – as early as its Tuesday, March 1st meeting.
The 12-member committee will include the City Manager Tammy Kretchmar and a city council representative. Council members will each appoint one member from their ward.
Two members will represent Yukon businesses. Other members will represent the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Yukon Public Schools and churches/civic groups.
It has not been determined whether only Yukon residents will be allowed to serve.
Beal asked city council members to provide their recommendations for committee appointees by next Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Once the 12 board members are approved by the council, they will start meeting regularly to review the community survey and town hall meeting results.
“The meetings would be open to the public,” Beal said. “It would allow for citizen input. They would be posted publicly with an agenda, just like a council meeting, on the City of Yukon website and at the place of the meeting.”
Weekly or bi-weekly evening meetings have been suggested at the Yukon Police Department or Dale Robertson Center. It will be up to the Citizens Advisory Board to decide dates and times.
“The quicker they move, the quicker we can have their recommendation to the council on what projects we’re going to move forward with and how we’re going to fund it,” Beal noted.
As Oklahoma City has done with its MAPS capital programs, Yukon city administrators envision this being a permanent advisory committee. One of panel’s first acts will be to appoint a chairman.
“I am so excited for this to get started,” Mayor Shelli Selby said. “I really look forward to seeing what this committee comes up with.”