Yukon seeks more stimulus aid

City officials urge county, state, federal leaders to help fund infrastructure projects

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Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon city leaders are urging their counterparts at the county, state and federal levels to help secure more federal stimulus funds for infrastructure upgrades.

City of Yukon officials have identified priority street, water and sewer projects they want to complete to address the city’s growth and aging infrastructure.

While the city council will consider calling a January 2023 election to fund proposed capital projects, local officials have started the process to secure outside revenue thereby reducing any burden on Yukon’s taxpayers.

The City of Yukon, in October 2021, applied for $4.35 million of Canadian County’s $28.8 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.

These funds, along with $4.9 million in federal stimulus aid already awarded directly to the City of Yukon, are earmarked for municipal water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

Replacing and repairing water/sewer lines and updating Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant are the proposed projects.

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.

“I’d love for you to contact your county commissioners,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby told Yukon residents at the May 3rd city council meeting. “We need that money now as prices are going up every day.

“Contact them, contact your state representatives and your federal representatives. Just tell them that Yukon needs these funds right now to do the things that we need to do to take care of our citizens.”

Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said the commissioners will meet soon to discuss how to distribute the county’s $28.8 million ARPA award.

County commissioners will review formal requests received from municipalities and other entities like Canadian County Health Department, Canadian County Water Authority, Sheriff’s Office, and Boy Scouts.

The City of Yukon has applied for more ARPA funds from both Canadian County and the State of Oklahoma, according to City Manager Tammy Kretchmar.

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OH, THE TRAFFIC

The City of Yukon also is seeking grant funding through a federal infrastructure bill to help pay for transportation improvements along the often-congested Garth Brooks Boulevard and N.W. 10th corridors; and the water treatment plant project.

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar

“Sen. (Jim) Inhofe has contacted us and wanted to know what projects we had that need to be done,” Kretchmar said.

Yukon’s city manager referred specifically to the business growth along 10th Street, the dividing line between Yukon and Oklahoma City.

Yukon city engineers have proposed projects totaling millions of dollars aimed at addressing traffic issues on N.W. 10th and Garth Brooks Boulevard.

These include improving existing intersections, installing new signalized intersections, creating new traffic lanes, and adding dedicated turn lanes.

“We’re working hard to get additional funds to get that done,” Kretchmar said.

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