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Edmond needs $150 million for long-term capital improvement projects

Edmond City Council members were presented this week with a list the staff composed of a long-term capital improvement projects needed for Edmond over the next 15 years. The estimated cost is almost $150 million.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: May 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014

A list of possible long-term capital improvement projects needed for Edmond over the next 15 years was presented to city council members this week. The estimated price tag is almost $150 million.

The big question is how to pay for the projects.

“This is not a wish list,” City Manager Larry Stevens said in a workshop with council members and department heads. “We are fairly certain these need to be done.”

Voters in 2000 approved a 3/4 cent sales tax for capital projects. The special tax came with a list of projects residents wanted done.

All of the projects, except one, has started or been completed, said Herb Blomquist, public works director.

A road project along Coltrane Road hasn’t started because city staff said the amount of traffic there doesn’t warrant federal financial assistance or an upgrade.

Available money from the 2000 sales tax is shrinking as the city begins paying back bonds from the capital improvement projects people requested when the tax was approved 14 years ago.

The 2000 sales tax will be one source of money for the long-range capital improvement projects, but a second source of revenue will be necessary, staff said.

“This is a large list and large needs,” Stevens said.

Fire Chief Jake Rhoades requested two new fire stations, relocation of another, replacement of Fire Station No. 1 on Second Street, and the remodel of two others. The estimated cost is $26.3 million.

Rhoades said he thinks a new fire station, located on North Kelly, is needed in the next five years. Land for this station was purchased in 2007.

“This addition will allow for fire districts to be realigned and reduce the current travel time for both fire stations Nos. 3 and 5, which is well below the 90th percentile due to length of travel,” Rhoades said. “It is almost in no man’s land there.”

Many of the fire stations were built back in the 1970s and some do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

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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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