The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

September 6, 2013

Trails plan gets the OK: Flashing lights on the way for Van Buren pedestrian crossing

ENID, Okla. — The pedestrian trail crossing at Van Buren soon will have flashing lights to warn drivers of the crosswalk.

City Engineer Chris Gdanski told Enid City Commission Thursday the lights will be available in about two weeks. His office also estimated the cost of installing a pedestrian-activated stop light at the location.

“That presumes that our study says this location warrants having that kind of control,” Gdanski said.

If Oklahoma Department of Transportation authorizes the installation of the stop lights, it would cost about $13,000 to design the project and another $90,000 to install it.

“If the traffic study, both pedestrian and vehicle, warrants through ODOT that we have a traffic control signal there, that’s when we’ll do this work,” Gdanski said, adding the signal will be “more efficient” than a similar light between city hall and Enid Fire Department headquarters.

The commission also shored up plans to extend the trail from Rupe southward to Meadowlake Park, which would cost $380,000 to construct. This would be the quickest to finish.

Next on the list is a one-mile extension from Oakwood to Garland, with the possibility of connecting the trail to Oakwood Mall. Estimates show it will cost $50,000 to design and $900,000 to build.

Gdanski also presented a plan to bring the trail downtown. Because there are numerous issues to settle, he could not provide a cost estimate.

“Right now, we do not have any information to base numbers on. We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Other business

The commission has delayed action on contracting with NAPA Auto Parts to provide an equipment and parts warehouse.

They also approved the final plat for Hearthstone Farms Addition.

In the informal study session before the commission meeting, commissioners heard from their lobbyist, Curt Roggow, on legislation that could impact the city next year. They also heard from the utilities department on how building owners with multiple tenants are charged for water. Ward 6 Commissioner David Vanhooser said he wants to change the current policy, saying it is unfair.

Under city law, building owners with a single meter still are charged the base rate for each tenant, which Vanhooser said increases the water bill.

City Manager Eric Benson noted the current method is in place to encourage revenue that goes back to utility infrastructure.

Commissioners heard a brief explanation of a site plan ordinance that likely will be introduced at the next commission meeting later this month. It would remove site plan approval from public hearings through the Municipal Area Planning Commission, and instead rely on staff approval.

The city also soon will consider extending a buffer zone around Vance Air Force Base’s runways by 1,000 feet. There are three homes that would fall inside the new zone, which also precludes construction of new homes. City Planner Chris Bauer said the existing homeowners would not be able to build additions to their homes or build separate living spaces on their property. The land use allowed, he said, is agricultural farmland.

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