Jenks Voters To Decide On Bond Issue To Improve Streets

Thursday, August 20th 2020, 6:27 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

JENKS, Okla. -

People in Jenks will vote on a $20.5 million bond issue next Tuesday to improve major roadways.

The 2020 General Obligation Bond would provide funding for four major road projects, widening Elm Street from two lanes to five, fixing main street, and improving the design for Elwood and 106th streets.

Some Jenks residents who depend on major roads such as Elwood and Elm Street call the streets "nightmares."

"It's busy pretty much all the time especially in the morning," Jenks resident, Chris Whittenton, said. He said he uses Elm street twice a day to get to and from work. “It takes me 30 minutes to get to work.”

"It's hard sometimes having just one lane going north and south,” resident Aile McPherson added, referring to the current traffic conditions on Elm.

Mayor Robert Lee said the city wants to change that by proposing the largest infrastructure bond in more than 20 years.

"So Jenks is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, which is a great thing, but the downside of that is our infrastructure has not kept up with that growth,” Lee said. "Since I became mayor last year, that's been my biggest focus, how can we turn that around?"

In the first year, homeowners would pay $80 per $100,000 of their home value. For the remaining years, it would cost $46 per $100,000 dollars of their home value. The total cost adds up to $20.5 million, with payments spanning two decades.

Whittenton said he will vote “yes” on Tuesday.

"I would hate the construction part of it but after it was over it would be well worth it," Whittenton said.

"Whether you have a business on the street, or whether you live in the neighborhood along the street, it is going to change your life in a big way," Mayor Lee said.

Lee said if the bond is approved, the road improvements could reduce drivers’ commute times 15 to 20 minutes. Elwood is already undergoing major construction, and the city said the bond would finish that project.