By Chris Eversole
In 2016, Mustang officials promised $25 million in major improvements if voters extended a one-cent sales tax – including widening roads, expanding the town center, improving the sewer plant and building a second fire station.
Voters said yes, and the city has kept its word.
The latest project in the works is the widening of S.E. 89th Street – between Mustang Road to State Highway 4.
The city is completing design of the project, and it expects to complete the purchase of the needed right-of-way within the next six months, Assistant City Manager Justin Battles said.
After that, construction should be completed within a year.
The $4.3-million project will convert the two-lane roadway into four-lanes. It will add turning lanes at the Mustang Road and SH 4 intersections.
“This will relieve congestion on Highway 152, assist with school access and traffic and add an underground storm sewer,” Battles said.
The city will install a traffic signal at the intersection with SH 4.
The other major sales-tax-funded road improvement is the widening of Sara Road.
The city agreed this year to work on the project with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and the City of Oklahoma City.
Mustang will provide $4 million for the Sara Road improvements from State Highway 152 and N.E. 59th Street, which is the city limit.
The Sara Road improvements are being done in concert with the Mustang extension of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike.
Once the city is sure what it needs for the 89th Street and Sara Road work, it will decide what other street improvements with the $10 million for such work it proposed with the sales tax extension, Battles said.
“We’re aggressive in maintaining our streets with our general fund dollars,” Battles said. “Our contractor, Silver Star Construction, maintains all our streets, and we make improvements as they are needed – from replacing a 100-foot section to upgrading a mile.”
Work on the $3 million recreation center expansion is progressing. “We’re dried in, except for some of the windows, and we plan to open Jan. 5,” Battles said.
As part of the project, the gymnasium space is being nearly doubled. “Our summer campers will have a gym of their own instead of having to work around the schedule of our existing gym,” Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Jean Heasley said.
The walking trail over the gym is being expand. “It’s very popular, especially with seniors,” Heasley said.
This spring, the city council approved the bid for the sales-tax-funded expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
The winning bid of $5 million was $500,000 under budget, Battles said.
In addition to expanding the plant’s capacity from 2 million gallons per day to 3 million gallons to meet future growth, the upgrade will have an environmental benefit – improving the quality of treated water that the city pumps 12 miles to the South Canadian River.
Highly treated water discharged from the plant will irrigate city sports fields. This water reuse will cut the amount of water the city buys from Oklahoma City and pumps from its own 11 wells, Battles said.
City officials are finishing plans for a new animal shelter, which is budgeted at $250,000. “The shelter is currently in the design phase, and once we complete the design, staff will examine the construction cost and develop a timeline for construction,” Battles said.
Planning has not begun on the new fire station, but the city has acquired land for it on East State Route 152.
The sales tax provides many benefits to the 12 square miles within the city limits, Battles said. “One of the advantages of living in Mustang is that we continually look to provide quality service to our residents, including improving our streets,” he said.
As the city grows, its sales tax revenue increases. “The city will continue to allocate funding to additional projects that will improve the citizens quality of life,” Battles said.