New look for Christmas
A proposal to do away with the annual Christmas parade in downtown Edmond is before the city council.
Staff has suggested the parade, held the first Saturday of December, be replaced with a walk-through Christmas lighting display in J.L. Mitch Park, the same location of the holiday outdoor ice skating rink.
The annual parade was canceled in 2016 because of bad weather, something that can be a problem from time to time, said Jessica Lyle, Edmond Electric community relations coordinator.
Another issue is the state marching band contest is always the same weekend of the parade and marching bands are not available for the parade.
Last year, Edmond Electric spent almost $12,000 to put on the parade that never happened, Lyle said. Police spent $2,000 for 15 officers to work traffic control.
Council members at a recent workshop talked in favor of the move to Mitch Park as long as there is still something for the downtown store owners, who for years sponsored the parade.
Edmond Electric has been hosting the parade since 2009.
Lyle estimated that it would cost $115,000 for the initial infrastructure for electrical services and another $10,000 to purchase lights for the trees and walkways at Mitch park.
The individual lighting displays cost anywhere from $500 to $50,000.
"Really the sky is the limit," Lyle said.
It was suggested that businesses be asked to sponsor a lighting display with signage advertising the company.
Suggested opening is November 2018 and it would be open 40-plus days.
Covell turn lanes
Capital Improvement Projects Advisory Board recommended this week a supplemental appropriation of almost $3.2 million to be spend on left-turn lanes on Covell Road at Santa Fe Avenue and Bryant Avenue intersections.
Construction costs, utility work and easements exceeded the original estimate of $1.5 million for the project. Both are considered short-term improvements, because Covell Road is expected to be turned into a four-lane parkway throughout the city.
Easements and utility work have been completed for the future parkway project which also added to the cost, said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons. Money will come from a special tax approved in 2000 for capital improvements.
Water to Arcadia
Edmond, the town of Arcadia and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality are continuing to work on a water line from Edmond to Arcadia.
"Environmental quality officials agreed to fund the water line project through a grant as part of a regionalization effort program," said City Manager Larry Stevens.
Edmond has been awarded up to $2.5 million to build the line to Arcadia.
"The benefit to the community is that we will realize additional capacity for future development on the east side of Interstate 35," Stevens said. "Several square miles have been identified that will be able to develop and tie into our water system."
Staff is finalizing easement documents and a firm soon will begin contacting property owners along the alignment. Plans are to bid the project in the fall after the easements have been acquired.
Edmond Public Schools recently approved the contract with Hornbeek-Blatt to be the architect for the construction of a joint school/city tennis complex near the northeast corner of 15th Street and Kelly Avenue.
City council members have not yet voted on an interlocal agreement for the complex where the city and the schools are each spending $7 million on the project.
The facility will include up to 10 indoor and 24 outdoor courts on the land that was purchased by the city for $2.5 million.
Reader Dalton Stewart asked: "On Second Street at Bryant Avenue the northbound traffic has two left turn lanes as well as two northbound lanes; however, the southbound lanes include only one left turn lane and two southbound lanes. The southbound lanes on the north side of this intersection has ample space for an additional left turn lane. Why has this space not been utilized for an additional left turn lane to accommodate high volume traffic at this intersection?
City Engineer Steve Manek answered: "At first glance, it would appear that you could just remove the striping and allow for two left turn lanes for the traffic going south on Bryant. The issue is the turning radius in the intersection. There is not enough room in the intersection and the south vehicles would conflict with the northbound vehicles. The city is aware of the congestion at this intersection and is moving forward with the appropriate studies to start the process of enlarging this intersection."
Reader Carole Call asked: "Will the city of Edmond be installing a sidewalk in front of Fire Station No. 4? It is on the Interstate 35 frontage road south of 15th Street, between the OnCue Express that is under construction and Mercy.
City Engineer Steve Manek answered: "This is an area where a sidewalk/trail linkage was to be installed. It will hopefully be part of project in the near future."
Have questions about Edmond, its roadwork, traffic or capital improvements? Email Diana Baldwin at email@example.com.
Follow Diana Baldwin on Twitter @Edmond_Beat.