Capital project funding focus of Jenks city council
The City of Jenks has several capital projects that require funding.
According to Jenks City Manager Chris Shrout, there are three funding mechanisms the city will pursue to complete the projects.
The first funding mechanism is “Vision Extension”, which the citizens of Jenks approved several years ago. The “Vision Extension” allows the City of Jenks to collect .55% of a penny on any sale subject to sales and use tax. The .55% is an additional collection on top of the 3% already collected.
The money collected from the “Vision Extension” funding mechanism is pledged to eight projects:
-Low water dams and related infrastructure, which is estimated to cost $16.67 million. That includes dam construction, a trail that connects to Riverwalk Crossing, essential pedestrian access abutment to shore and flood wall and riverbank stabilization
-Neighborhood road maintenance program, which is estimated to cost $1.55 million. That includes preventative crack sealing and street repair in neighborhoods
-Sidewalk construction, which is estimated to cost $1.33 million. That includes Elm Street from K Pl. to B St., B St. from Elm to Riverwalk Crossing and C St. from Fir to Elm St.
-Engineering and right way acquisition for Elm Street widening from 121st St. to 131st St., which is estimated to cost $1.5 million
-Construction of splash pad, which is estimated to cost $400,000
-Paving the Park West parking lot, which is estimated to cost $233,000 and is in partnership with Tulsa County
-Reconstruction of First St., connecting downtown Jenks to the future Simon Premium Outlets, which is estimated to cost $244,000
-Reconstruction of Seventh St., connecting downtown to the future Simon Premium Outlets, which is estimated to cost $244,000
The estimated total collection is $22.131 million over a total length of 15 years of sales tax.
The second funding mechanism is “Revenue bonds”, which are a type of municipal bond that can be used to finance projects with their own dedicated revenue streams. Revenue bonds are secured by the income they are expected to produce and can be issued by any government agency with both operating revenues and expenses.
The City of Jenks and its related entities have issued revenue bonds to fund the construction of the Oklahoma Aquarium, pledging the income from the aquarium to pay for the debt and to fund the wastewater treatment plant improvements, pledging the income from utility rates to cover the debt.
The “Revenue bond” can be voted on by the City of Jenks city council and the Jenks Public Works Authority. The “Revenue bond” of $12 million will be used to make improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
The third funding mechanism is “General Obligation bonds”, which are used to finance public projects such as parks and roads that don’t make money. Their purpose is to serve the public’s “well-being”. “GO bonds” are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing municipality. In Oklahoma, municipalities levy a property tax to service the debt on a “GO bond”.
The citizens of a city are required to vote to approve “GO bonds”. The city council must approve a resolution, including ballot language and provide the resolution to the County Election Board 60 days prior to a potential election date.
Several projects that the City of Jenks will use “GO bond” funding to pursue are replacing Fire Station 1 with a new and updated fire station, an upgraded animal shelter and a new and upgraded community center.
To break it down, the revenue bond will take care of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades and the GO bond (if voted on) will take care of the Fire Station 1, animal shelter and community center upgrades.
Both the revenue bond and GO bond must be approved by the Jenks city council before plans move forward. If the revenue bond is passed by council, those projects tied to the revenue bonds will be a full go for the city. If the GO bond language is passed by council, it will be submitted to the Tulsa County Election Board and then appear on the earliest election ballot possible for Jenks citizens to vote.