Jenks To Vote For Improvements To Police, Fire Departments

Wednesday, October 5th 2011, 4:10 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

JENKS, Oklahoma -- The City of Jenks is voting on a $3.5 million bond issue next week that could fund improvements for the Police and Fire Departments.

While the Arkansas River has hardly any water in it now, it's part of the reason the Jenks Fire Department needs more equipment.

All the development happening along the shore increases the need for larger, more advanced trucks, and better safety equipment to handle large fires.

"We're looking at replacing one of our aerial units that's at the end of its service life," said Jenks Fire Chief Gary Friedel. "[We're] looking for a combination aerial pumper to accommodate our needs now, and we have an eye to the future with the growth that's happening."

The bond, if it passes, would also allow the police department to expand into this department of public safety building across the street. The space they're using now in city hall would be remodeled for other uses.

Police headquarters would remain in city hall while the patrol and detective divisions would move into the new space. The fire department portion would add only new equipment - and their stations would remain as is.

"A lot of this equipment and their building was put into use in the 1980's. And we had a population of 6,000 people and now we have 17,000 people, and we need to make these upgrades," Friedel said.

Downtown businesses have signs out promoting the bond issue, which would raise taxes by $25 a year for each $100,000 of property.

The bond is up for a vote October 11th. It totals $3.5 million, divided between fire and police with fire getting the most.

Jenks officials say the need for new and better equipment is a reflection of the growth of the community - and a requirement to keep public safety strong.

See Breakdown Of Jenks Bond Issue