Capital funding items highlight special City Council meeting

Capital funding items highlight special City Council meeting

Jenks citizens will have an opportunity to vote this spring on several items that will impact the future of their community.

Those items were the topic of the special meeting hosted by the Jenks City Council Monday at the Hive in Jenks.

The General Obligation Bond the City of Jenks will put in front of its citizens this spring will be around $20 million in total.

The G.O. Bond items include:

-road widening on 111th Street from Elwood to U.S. Highway 75

-road widening on Elm Street from 111th Street to 131st Street

-road widening on Elwood Avenue from 111th Street to Main Street

-road upgrades on Main Street from Elm Street to the railroad tracks

-New Fire Station 1 located in the Central Park area

-New Jenks Adult Activity Center located in the Central Park area

Jenks Ward 1 City Council Member Kaye Lynn is spearheading the charge for a new senior center to be built in Jenks.

The current senior center holds a max capacity of 90 seniors, while there are more than double the amount of seniors wanting to participate in the senior center activities.

Lynn invited Regan McManus and Joy McGill to speak at the meeting Monday night. McManus is the Director of INCOG Tri County Council on Aging and McGill is the Assistant Director of the AARP.

McManus said the entire country is facing unprecedented times when it comes to aging. She said the fastest aging group in the United States is the G.I. Generation followed by the Baby Boomer Generation.

McManus said that the United States has more people who are 65 and older than the entire population of Canada and by 2030 older adults will outnumber children in this country.

In other surrounding communities in the Tulsa area, Broken Arrow has a stand-alone senior center, while Reportedly, Owasso has a combined community and senior center, but there are discussions for Owasso to build a stand-alone senior center.

McGill said a stand-alone, new senior center for Jenks would help get people out of the homes and combat social isolation and make Jenks a healthier community overall.

The senior center that is being proposed would cost the Jenks tax payers $3.5 million to build.

Jenks Fire Chief Greg Ostrum addressed the crowd Monday at the meeting as well to talk about the benefits of a new Fire Station 1 in Jenks.

Ostrum said the current Fire Station 1 was built in the 1950s and has been used in multiple ways over the decades. The bays in the current facility are too small for a lot of modern-day equipment to enter and therefore holds the Jenks Fire Department back from functioning as highly as it could with a new station.

The sleeping quarters in the current facility are not separate and with the Jenks Fire Department bringing on several female fire fighters, separated sleeping quarters are a necessity.

Ostrum also said the fire department’s administrative offices are located at Fire Station 2 because of the space and newer building, but with the new station, the administrative offices would move to Fire Station 1 making them closer to the downtown Jenks area.

If the new Fire Station 1 is approved and voted yes by Jenks citizens, plans are to tear down the current facility and turn that space into parking.

The G.O. Bond items discussion will continue at 7 p.m. Monday at the next City Council Meeting and at the Jan. 7 City Council Meeting.

Kyle Salomon

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