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City sets sights on future funding

The City of Yukon has begun the work of developing the foundation of tax questions in plans for improvements within city limits.
During the study session leading up to the second council meeting on June 15, city officials outlined upcoming plans to secure funding for projects. On the agenda, the city listed a discussion of topics related to future capital projects, and necessary sources and mechanisms.
The city is planning on seeking funding through either a sales tax, General Obligation Bond or possibly for projects that have yet to be determined. A survey for city residents to gauge what type of projects would be supported.
In addition to a survey, the city is planning up to two or three Town Hall meetings. The survey itself will consist of three sections.
People will be asked to rate satisfaction with the city, rate and identify current and future needs. The city will also seek input on the property located on Frisco Road and State Highway 66. The property was originally slated for a sports park, but city voters rejected funding in an election on March 7, 2017.
City manager Tammy Kretchmar said there was an agreement in 2015 with Oklahoma City to annex property for an election which was the site of the proposed park. As part of the agreement, Oklahoma City indicated Yukon’s sports park would have to be a world-class soccer facility. The election failed, and since that time, some acres have been sold off for a water park. Kretchmar said the city has reached out to Oklahoma City officials over a new agreement.
“We feel we need to amend the agreement with Oklahoma City,” she said. “We are looking at possibly adding retail to the property with the possibility of splitting sales tax with Oklahoma City. They are willing to work with us. We really feel that would be the best place to build a library or community center.
The current timeline has set aside for August through October for a community survey and September through October for town halls.
November through April will host a number of planned meetings to develop the plans. The election day itself is set for June 28. The city was originally looking to have the election in November but that would conflict with a Yukon Public School election.
Some of the projects to be proposed by the city include:
• Widen, resurface Garth Brooks Boulevard
• Widen Yukon Parkway
• Wagner Road, East of Highway 4
• Holley Avenue]
• Water Lines
• Sewer Lines
• Lift Station
• City Hall Complex
• Yukon Community Center
• Jackie Cooper Gymnasium
• Kimbell Bay

With its GO Bond, the city is looking at raising its mills from 3.7 to 15. It is projected to bring in $15 million and would raise property taxes $10 on a $100,000 home per mill. The city is also looking at a ½-cent and full cent sales tax. The city’s sales tax rate is currently 8.85. A full cent is projected to raise $27 million, and a ½-cent is projected to raise $20 million. Both sales tax and GO Bond would be on the books for five years.
“Our goal is to educate the public and let them know what our facilities look like and what infrastructure needs to be repaired,” Kretchmar said. “And get them on board. That is why we really want to involve the public. It’s their town, their amenities, their community. This is the beginning and you are going to be hearing more and more about it. We will proceed and move forward with it according to the schedule.
“We have our team together and we are ready to start working on it.”

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