Edmond Exchange for Sept. 17, 2016
Hotel and conference center work progresses
Steel is now coming out of the ground at the construction site of Edmond's new hotel and conference center on the northwest corner of Covell Road and Interstate 35.
“Steel is being erected on the hotel portion of the project, and the stormwater drainage box that the city is building across the west side of the property should be completed in September,” City Manager Larry Stevens said.
Contractor Flintco Construction, selected by Raptor Development, the city's private partner in the project, is making “significant progress” on the 158-room Hilton Garden Inn and the attached 20,000-square-foot conference center, he said.
“The development agreements stipulate that the project will be completed by Dec. 31 of next year,” Stevens said.
A major widening project has been underway since June 13 near Covell Road and I-35.
“With the companion Covell Road widening project the area around this intersection is a hub of major activity, which is an indicator of the major new commercial and retail activity anticipated to evolve over the next five to 10 years,” Stevens said.
Construction on the $37 million hotel and conference center started in June. Developers think a 300-acre area on three corners of the intersection will one day be a focal point for Edmond.
Council members invested $12 million in the public/private project with Covell Partners in Development and Covell-35 Development in an effort to improve Edmond's chances for economic development and increase its sales tax revenue.
The 100,000-square-foot Hilton Garden Inn and conference center is projected to provide a $5.7 million annual economic impact when it is completed.
Water, sewer projects advance
Council members accepted this week a nearly $10 million bid to construct an administration and laboratory building at the Coffee Creek Water Resources Recovery Facility.
Over the next five years, the city is expected to spend an estimated $300 million for infrastructure improvements. This is one of the projects. The infrastructure project is expected to take care of Edmond's needs for the next 30 years.
Bonds will be sold to pay for the project. The bonds will be paid off partly with water and sewer rate increases that started last year and are expected to occur on Nov. 1 of every year for a five-year period. Officials expect to pay for the entire improvement package with $150 million of bond sales, reserve money and the recent and future rate increases.
Contractors will switch Covell Road traffic at Sooner Road from the existing lanes onto new asphalt lanes about midmorning Monday. Sooner Road also will reopen to traffic on the north side of Covell Road, allowing access to the intersection.
After the switch, Sooner Road will be closed to traffic just south of Covell Road.
This closure will be in place for a maximum of five weeks, and motorists will need to find an alternate route during this time.
The $12.5 million Covell widening project, from Fairfax Lane to Interstate 35, is being administered by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation with contractor Allen Contracting Inc. The city is providing 53 percent of the funding, or nearly $6.6 million.
The city's portion is coming from a special sales tax approved by voters in 2000 for capital improvements.
The project started June 13 and the work is to be done in 310 calendar days.
“Allen Contracting is making good progress and is on schedule for this major project,” Stevens said.
Sales taxes down
Edmond's third sales tax collection check for the fiscal year was down about 3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
“This compares to our zero growth projection for the current budget year,” Stevens said.
The September check is for collections from the last two weeks of July and the first half of August.
This month's check for Edmond's 3.75 percent sales tax was for $5,397,346.
This year's $297 million budget was calculated without any growth added.
Reader Paul Justis asked: “I've noticed activity around the old Homeland at Santa Fe and Edmond Road. Any word on if there's a new occupant?”
Reader Therese Underwood asked: “Do you have any idea what is happening at the old Homeland at this location? They are working on it and in my wildest dreams I'm hoping for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.”
City Planner Bob Schiermeyer answered: “The building is being divided into two parts. The only thing we are aware of is Planet Fitness going into one part of the building.”
Have questions about Edmond, its roadwork, the hotel and conference center, traffic or capital improvements? Email Diana Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Diane Baldwin on Twitter @Edmond_beat.