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Looking for Someone to Blame

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: November 30, 2010

Ah, what twists and turns can occur when questions are asked. If you read today’s Main Street column, you know that as of yesterday the city wasn’t even so sure anymore who was responsible for the NE 2 sidewalk.

Well, today we now know the answer – it’s the city that did this, not a utility.

Speaking to Debbie Regan in the city’s water department, I learned that the grate covers a water meter. Apparently the water meter was installed as the adjoining 2nd Street Lofts were being built. Regan says the contract changed the plans for the underground garage construction, causing the meter to be at a level where the grate had to be raised higher than the sidewalk.

I asked – why can’t the meter be lowered or moved? She responded the meter was installed first, and the contractor caused the situation. I asked if the average pedestrian really cares as to how this happened. Is it impossible to move the meter and fix this sidewalk? She again responded the contractor was to blame – an answer, quite frankly, I doubt makes a difference to most of you.

So now Ragan is looking into whether it is or is not possible for the meter to be moved. My question remains the same: in the post Jeff Speck era, is this acceptable? Is this something that would be permitted in front of Devon tower or City Hall? If not, why is it acceptable on NE 2?

By the way, YOU PAID FOR THIS. This was part of a Tax Increment Financing district project.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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