GUEST COLUMN: A yes vote Tuesday is a vote for a better Jenks

GUEST COLUMN: A yes vote Tuesday is a vote for a better Jenks

By Robert Lee, Mayor, City of Jenks

When I ask the people of Jenks what we can do to make our city better, the first answer I get is almost always a variation on the same theme: Make our roads better; shorten our commutes; help us get around town by car, by bike, or by foot.

On Tuesday, August 25, we have a chance to make these improvements by approving the Go Jenks bond package.

Improving our roads and transportation infrastructure has been a major focus of our city council, with the biggest goal being the much-needed widening of south Elm between 111th and 131st, and extending pedestrian access to the southern edge of town. We’ve always known we would need to pass a bond to afford this project, which has been my primary goal since becoming mayor last year.

We want to improve Elm, but we also have the challenge of Elwood. We’re currently improving the intersection at 111th, with a scheduled widening from 96th to 111th to commence soon thereafter. This leaves two stretches of Elwood (91st to 96th; and 111th to 121st) to be improved. This bond will pay for the engineering of these stretches— the important first step to making the entire length of Elwood passable and walkable.

The heart of this bond package is allowing us to get as far as we can in taking care of the important corridors of Elm and Elwood. But that’s not all it will do.

We’re going to make improvements to Main Street, from Elm to Downtown. We’ll add sidewalks and trees, while solving the problem of stormwater that pools on the west side of Downtown. This will require routing the water under the railroad, down Birch to Veteran’s Pond. An exciting by-product of this work will be making improvements and adding sidewalks from Main to Veteran’s Park, giving our park a beautiful front door from Downtown.

Finally, we’re going to engineer a new road at 106th, from Elm into River District. As we’ve worked to open this area up to commercial development, we keep coming back to the same problem. If this area is going to be as successful as we want it to be, we need an additional point of access from Elm Street. This will give people more opportunities to spend their money in Jenks, while opening up additional avenues for economic development in this new part of town.

These projects will shorten our commutes, allowing us to spend more time with our families. These projects will make for faster response times for public safety. These projects will make our town more walkable and bikeable, improving our property values and giving us more opportunities to stay healthy. They will make our city more beautiful and will enhance our quality of life. They will boost our businesses and make Jenks more attractive to new businesses, contributing to our city’s economic well-being for decades to come.

We have a chance on August 25th to make Jenks a stronger city. I hope you will join me in bringing these historic and much-needed improvements to our city.

You can get more information at Facebook.com/GoJenks. Thank you for voting YES on August 25th!

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