The Duncan Banner

February 26, 2014

City Council approves bypass south connector resolution

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Two years have passed since the Duncan City Council chose not to approve a resolution involving a Duncan Bypass south connector.

On Tuesday, council members approved the resolution, which will require significantly less of the City of Duncan’s funds to bring to fruition.

The funds are needed to move utilities in the south connector area, and the City of Duncan will be paying about 10 percent or $231,961.20 to make it happen. This number was a decrease from the original $385,000 the city would have paid, if the council had approved the resolution in November 2011.

“A substantial amount of federal funding will be used here,” City Manager Jim Frieda said.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, which also will pay 10 percent to move the utilities, proposed the south connector from U.S. Highway 81 near Cherokee Road to the existing intersection at 27th Street.

Frieda said the project is intended to help with traffic flow on U.S. Highway 81. Although the City Council approved the city’s involvement in the project, the project would not get underway until 2016.

The city would also not start making payments on the project until that same year, which Frieda said could be beneficial to the city, especially when it comes to budgeting for the project.

“That would give us two budgets to being appropriating funds,” Frieda said.

Frieda said the council appeared to have made the right call in 2011, when it chose to not approve the resolution.

“Because the city was cautious and mindful of its funds, it all looks like it will work out favorably,” Frieda said.

In other action:

The council approved the purchase of three storm sirens from Lawton Communications at a cost of $39,320.

Sgt. Patrick Norton with the Duncan Police Department said there are 21 sirens in Duncan, 20 of which are currently functioning. The remaining siren (10th and Elk) has been fixed and needs to be reconnected to electricity.

“They’re all aging,” Norton said. “In the past several years, there have been several repairs. We need to start replacing them.”

Those three sirens will be placed at 11th and Spruce, near Don Jose’s restaurant, and at a location in south Duncan. Sirens at those locations will be moved to the city lakes.

The new sirens will rotate to better inform people of weather conditions. Each will have a battery backup that will last up to 20 minutes.

Two SmartBoards were purchased for the Criminal Justice Complex from Peak Uptime at a cost of $28,597.32. The interactive white boards will be use for training purposes for city police and fire departments.

“It’s a great tool that will be pretty versatile,” Duncan Police Captain Jay Evans said.

The white boards will not require projectors. The boards will also have the ability to be written or drawn on with a finger.

The Criminal Justice Complex was formerly an armory building in Duncan. But it was returned to the city in 2013, following a two-year clean-up process.