By Conrad Dudderar
After a streets bond proposition failed, Yukon city officials have been working with state agencies to secure funding for needed roadway improvements.
The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) has awarded grant funding totaling $2,393,380 to the City of Yukon for these projects:
- Multimodal trail on the south side of Garth Brooks Boulevard across Interstate 40.
- Pedestrian crossing and sidewalks/signal at Yukon Parkway and Ranchwood Boulevard.
- Two-inch mill and inlay asphalt section on Garth Brooks Boulevard from Vandament Aene to Main Street.
The City of Yukon must pay 20% of the sidewalk and signal projects, as well as the design costs on all three projects. The ACOG grants will pay the remaining amount.
“We’re really excited and happy about those,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said at the March 7th city council meeting. “Those were some of the things that were on our list to be done on the g.o. bond election.”
Yukon voters, at a special election Feb. 14, rejected a general obligation bond that would have funded 17 street and sidewalk projects across the city.
The measure failed by a 63.05% majority, with 1,766 “yes” votes and 1,035 “no” votes cast across 13 polling places.
The ACOG Board of Directors at their Feb. 23 meeting endorsed the funding of $43.7 million for transportation projects in the Oklahoma City area. This will fund 39 projects for 14 local governments in ACOG’s Metropolitan Planning Organization area.
The City of Yukon will receive $1,472,000 from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and $921,380 in Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).
City administrators also have been working with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) for some other projects.
Kretchmar mentioned the Interstate 40 eastbound and westbound on-ramps at Garth Brooks Boulevard.
ODOT recently released its eight-year transportation improvement program for state roadways.
As part of the proposal, the department will fund 100% of new sidewalks that will be installed along Main Street (State Highway 66) in Yukon.
The plan also calls for ODOT to resurface SH-66 between Banner Road and Sara Road in 2029.
“That is on the eight-year plan,” Kretchmar explained. “If there is any way that we could provide some money along or possibly pay for design work on that, we might be able to move that up faster.
“We are trying everything we can to try and get some of those roads finished. … We will be putting some money in the budget for those capital projects because with the ACOG grants, we will owe some money (20% local match). We’ve been very fortunate to get those ACOG grants awarded.”
With the recent bond election defeat, Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby said the outside funding will provide a “much-needed boost” for city roads.
“Seldom do we qualify for ACOG grants, but our team of city administration and I have fought long and hard to finally qualify,” Selby said.
“The administration has worked hand-in-hand with ODOT to keep finding these awesome funding opportunities. We will continue to seek additional funding to help our community, and our roads and traffic situations.”
Ward 4 City Council Member Aric Gilliland thanked the city manager, mayor and other administrator for their efforts to the secure the outside funding from ACOG and ODOT.
“Obviously we’re going to have to come up with ways to fund some of these projects,” Gilliland said.
Had the City of Yukon’s proposed streets bond passed, property taxes would have increased over an estimated 10 years – about $10 per month for $100,000 of assessed value.
The general obligation bond would have generated some $37.5 million to pay for the roadway upgrades.