Edmond Exchange for March 7

Edmond Exchange is a weekly wrapup of what is going on in Edmond
Oklahoman Published: March 7, 2014

by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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Edmond exchange

Covell widening continues

Edmond engineering staffers met with the project consultant on the Covell Road widening project from Fairfax Office Park to Interstate 35 to compare the proposed commercial development to the streets.

Staff members will meet with potential developers to discuss possible modifications to the right-of-way requirements on the proposed road improvements.

The environmental assessment is being updated so it can be resubmitted to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for review, City Manager Larry Stevens said.

The project is estimated to cost more than $10 million.

A conference center and hotel, McDonald’s and Crest Foods are to be built in the area.

Trail work progresses

The city has responded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with public comments about the environmental assessment for the trails from Interstate 35 to Arcadia Lake.

A private/public partnership has been proposed to build the 18-foot paved trail for walking, jogging and bicycles from Spring Creek Park and around the lake

City staff members are also pursuing the federal permits needed for the first section of the project from I-35 to Spring Creek Park to be bid in March and paid for with taxpayer money. The bid would be awarded in April with construction to be completed in August.

The estimated cost of the project from I-35 to Spring Creek Park is now $3.2 million. Funds are expected to come out of the 2000 sales tax money approved by voters for capital improvements.

“The cost increased significantly when the trail was widened to 18 feet from the initial 10-foot concept,” said City Manager Larry Stevens. “We believe the city’s additional funding will serve as evidence of the significant local commitment to the project, which should help attract potential private donors for the remaining trail project around the lake.”

The section around the lake is estimated to cost between $15 million and $20 million.

Tanks removed

Oklahoma Environmental Services of Oklahoma City began removing two 10,000-gallon underground petroleum storage tanks Tuesday at the south site of the new public safety center complex west of Broadway and 33rd Street.

The tanks are on city-owned property that was once the James H. Harrod Vehicle Maintenance Facility.

Crews were expected to complete the job by Friday afternoon. Cost to remove the tanks is $52,300.

The 15,000-square-foot building will be built on top of where the tanks were once buried.

A crime laboratory and storage for evidence and police vehicles will be housed on the property. The remainder of the complex — a home for police headquarters, emergency management operations and 911 communications — is being constructed at First Street and Littler Avenue.

The city is spending $27.5 million on the complex.

Property rezoned commercial

Edmond planning commissioners this week approved rezoning 1.9 acres from single family to retail. The property is on the southeast corner of Covell Road and Boulevard.

City council members will make a final decision at their March 24 meeting.

Randel Shadid, attorney for the developer, S&L LLC, said the property would be used for such businesses as coffee shops and dry cleaners.

It’s a fact

Edmond and Norman have an 8.25 percent sales tax rate, the lowest in a comparison of eight cities in the metro area. Moore, Nichols Hills and The Village have an 8.5 percent sales tax rate. The highest sales tax rate is in Yukon with 8.85 percent. Midwest City’s rate is 8.35. Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate is 8.375 percent. Each sales tax rate includes 4.5 percent for the state and the remaining money goes to the cities.

What’s next

Edmond schools spring break is March 17 to 21.

Edmond Memorial’s Swine Week starts Monday.

Edmond City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.

Need answers?

Reader Jason Ogilbee asked: “I would like to know what the plans are for the large mound of dirt that occupies the southeast corner of 33rd Street and Bryant Avenue. The dirt was trucked to that location from the construction of the new public safety center. The piles of dirt make that intersection unsightly.”

Assistant City Manager Steve Commons answered: “The developer of the site obtained an earth disturbance permit to level and raise the elevation of the property. It is my understanding that the developer plans a commercial development.”

Got questions about Edmond and its road construction, the public safety center, traffic or anything? Email your questions to dbaldwin@opubco.com. Edmond Exchange will find an answer.

DIANA BALDWIN, The Oklahoman

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