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Edmond Exchange for May 21

Covell project costs more

Infrastructure improvements on the southwest corner of Covell Road and Interstate 35 are almost complete.  PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN
Infrastructure improvements on the southwest corner of Covell Road and Interstate 35 are almost complete. PHOTO BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OKLAHOMAN

Bids for widening of Covell Road from Fairfax Boulevard to Interstate 35 came in higher than anticipated. The city of Edmond is having to come up with another $1.35 million for the joint project with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

The project was expected to cost $10.5 million. The bid, awarded to Allen Contracting on May 5, was almost $12.5 million.

Transportation officials only have $5.9 million or 47 percent of the total cost to spend on the Edmond project.

Edmond now must pay almost $6.6 million or 53 percent. The city anticipated spending 44 percent of the bill.

The Capital Projects and Financing Task Force this week approved the $1.35 million for the project. The money was taken from a downtown stormwater and streetscape parking project that is not going to be ready for bids at this time.

Money for the Covell project is coming from a sales tax passed in 2000 for capital projects.

City council members will consider the additional expenditure at their Monday meeting.

The project is expected to take 310 days to complete. It will widen Covell to a four-lane divided roadway. Between Sooner Road and I-35, Covell will be divided and have six lanes. Decorative street lighting and 10-foot multiuse paths on both sides of the street are included in the plans. New traffic signals will be installed at Covell and Fairfax, Covell and Sooner, and Covell and Market Street.

Artwork dedication Sunday

Dedication of “Touch the Clouds” will be at 2 p.m. Sunday on Second Street, just west of Garland Godfrey Drive, on the University of Central Oklahoma campus. Parking is available at the nearby Roger W. Webb Forensic Science Institute. In the event of inclement weather, the dedication will move inside the institute. The outside westbound lane of Second Street will be closed from east of the institute to west of the artwork from 1 p.m. to about 3 p.m. City council members approved purchase of the statue, by the late, renowned artist David McGary, from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2013 for $50,000. The total cost to purchase, move and install the piece on a new base was $171,184. Private donors gave another $30,000 for restoration of the 17-year-old statue.

Congratulations, seniors

An Edmond North High School student waits for the start of graduation at the Cox Convention Center. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN <strong>BRYAN TERRY</strong>
An Edmond North High School student waits for the start of graduation at the Cox Convention Center. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN BRYAN TERRY

Seniors from the three Edmond high schools will graduate Saturday in three separate ceremonies in Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center. There are 1,612 seniors. The 2016 senior class includes 99 valedictorians and 31 salutatorians. Valedictorians are students who received all A grades, and salutatorians are students who received one B and the rest A's.

Electricity increase warning

Edmond Electric customers were notified this week that the Legislature is considering requiring the city's wholesale power supplier, the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, to contribute a portion of its revenue to the state's general fund.

The power authority is a cost of service organization that is not appropriated by the state, and is funded entirely through the sale of electric power. Therefore, any more by the state to require funding from the power authority to offset the state's budget would be a direct cost to Edmond Electric and its customers.

City officials urged Edmond Electric customers to contract their legislators to oppose the tax.

Heard on Hurd Saturday

People at the Wicked Hangry Burgers trailer during Heard on Hurd in downtown Edmond, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
People at the Wicked Hangry Burgers trailer during Heard on Hurd in downtown Edmond, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

Saturday's Heard on Hurd's featured nonprofit will be My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation benefiting We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym Oklahoma City. We Rock the Spectrum is a kid's gym that provides sensory-safe play and services for children with autism and special needs.

Kristin Haynes, co-owner of We Rock The Spectrum, said, “The funds raised at Heard on Hurd will go toward a new gym located in south Edmond and we can't wait to open the doors to welcome the community soon.”

Citizens Bank of Edmond's Heard on Hurd is from 6 to 10 p.m. in downtown Edmond. The street festival also will celebrate the success of 2016 high school graduates with traditional live music, food trucks and shopping.

It's a fact

The median age in Edmond is 35.6 years old. Only 3 percent of Edmond's estimated 89,183 residents are 80 years or older. From the age of new born to 19 years old counts for 29.9 percent of Edmond's population. Ages 20 to 29 counts for 16 percent of the population, according the 2016 Edmond Economic Abstract published by the Edmond Economic Development Authority.

What's happening

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

Groundbreaking for the new hotel and conference center is at 9 a.m. Thursday at the construction site near Covell Road and I-35.

Need answers?

Reader Ryan Morlock asked: “I saw your live online chat too late to chime in. Do you know what is going on behind Crest on 15th Street and Santa Fe Avenue?

Planning Director Bob Schiermeyer answered: “A 70-unit duplex development and maybe two commercial lots in the front if developer John Coleman can find a commercial user.”

Have questions about Edmond and its road construction, the hotel and conference center, traffic, capital improvements or anything else?

Email Diana Baldwin at dbaldwin@oklahoman.com. Follow her on Twitter @Edmond_beat.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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