Project selection advances for April elections

December 3, 2019

Committees to prioritize projects for GO Bond, CIP elections

The Bartlesville City Council on Monday took action to advance project selection for upcoming elections in which voters will determine funding for the city’s capital projects going into the future.

The council received a list of capital projects that could be considered by voters in elections next year — the 2020 General Obligation Bond Election and extension of the existing half-cent Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) sales tax.

Director of Engineering Micah Siemers presented the projects to the council during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday.

“(Based on the discussion) from the initial workshop meeting we had on Sept. 17, we’ve gone with a three-year $16.4 million G.O. Bond target, and for sales tax we’re looking at five years with $13.7 million projected,” Siemers said.

During the September meeting, councilors were asked to individually rank project categories by priority, which staff then used to determine project recommendations.

“Streets and Bridges were at the top, followed by Buildings and Facilities, Equipment, Parks and Recreation, and then Drainage, so that’s what we tried to target,” Siemers said, noting the projects presented are a “starting point” for discussion and subject to change during the selection process.

Projects were selected by a management committee and based on needs reported by department directors, he said.

Recommended project totals:

  • Streets and bridges — $13.6 million
  • Equipment — $5.8 million
  • Buildings and facilities — $5.1 million
  • Parks and recreation — $2.8 million
  • Drainage — $375,000

Siemers also presented project requests from directors that were not selected by the committee, which total an additional $13.8 million.

The combined amount of the G.O. Bond fund and projected CIP is approximately $30.1 million. Staff’s recommended projects total $27.7 million, leaving $2 million remaining for additional projects.

Projects include preventative street maintenance, several vehicles, mowers and other equipment used by City staff, upgrades to the City’s information technology systems, body-worn cameras and other equipment for police, a ladder truck and equipment for the fire department, bridge rehabilitations for Sunset over Butler Creek and Tuxedo over the Caney River and Caney River overflow, as well as parking lot improvements to City-owned parks.

“I do like the idea of including money for maintenance and upkeep,” Mayor Dale Copeland said following the presentation. “I think too often it’s easy to get excited about building stuff; it’s not as easy to stay excited about taking care of it once you’ve built it.”

The council voted 5-0 for staff to present the projects to citizen-driven Parks Board and Street and Traffic Committee for prioritization, after which the council will consider the recommendations and determine which projects will be put before voters in next year’s elections. The targeted election date is April 7, 2020.

The Street and Traffic Committee will meet next on Dec. 12. The Park Board will meet on Dec. 19. Both meetings are held at noon at City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave., and are open to the public.