Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 12, 2013

TIF district, water concerns top issues

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — It has been nearly a year since the Pauls Valley City Council set in motion the first improvement project for the city’s Tax Incremental Financing District, better known as TIF.

However, it was during this week’s council meeting that a road project going through said area moved on from the engineering phase and saw the submitted bid unanimously approved, save for an abstention by Councilman Lorin Jacobson due to his company Jacobson’s Concrete’s connection as a sub-contractor.

Handling the work will be the only bidder for the amount of $875,482.50, Silver Star Construction out of Oklahoma City, who will pave and install drainage for what involves parts of Loftin Lane as well as North Oak Street.

“It looks like it is in line with what needs to be done,” said City Manager James Frizell.

“The majority of that is drainage,” he said. “But it’s got to have drainage on there because it’s in a flood plain.”

A majority of the funding will come from money built up since the district was formed back in April 2007, according to Frizell.

The rest will need to come from the half-cent sales tax dedicated to roadwork, but that will be reimbursed as the district benefits from additions like the Tractor Supply store and future business additions.

“We’ll get some more TIF money as we go along and then we will reimburse our one-cent fund as we get it back in,” said Frizell.

“One of the reasons we didn’t do a lot of street projects was knowing this was coming down the pike.”

Frizell pointed out how the road itself in this district will include about three blocks from an entrance on state Highway 19 around the east side of Punkin’s Bar-B-Que toward U.S. Highway 77 in a north/south direction.

The previous phase cost the city about $58,000 for everything from topographic survey to assisting with the pre-construction meeting as well as setting up the bidding process and was handled by SMC Consulting Engineers.

“It will run three quarters of the length of Indian Meridian,” said Frizell. “It will be behind tractor supply.”

One of the original stated goals for the project is to build tax revenue potential by investing in the basic needed services that will eventually benefit the town as a whole. Eventually the money generated builds on a hope to put even more funds toward improving infrastructure that’s been out of date for years.

The meeting also included an inquiry by Councilman Patrick Grimmett, who mentioned a citizen’s concern as to a recent change in the local drinking water’s taste and smell.

Frizell answered that by noting that is due to an occurrence that takes place a couple of times a year when the two nearby lakes where the water is drawn from, turn over.

Frizell pointed out how it occurs when the temperature in the water reaches about the same as the air temperature and causes the sediment from the bottom to rise to the top, making it murky and the taste is a reaction that occurs when the water meets the chemicals used to treat it.

Despite that it can smell or taste unpleasant, he pointed out it is safe to drink and will only last as long as it takes the water to settle again.

“It’s organic matter and we treat it. What has made it worse is we had a major water leak in our water tower at the industrial park,” said Frizell mentioning a recent incident where part of the tower lost a several thousand gallons when part of the bowl in the tower rusted and sprung a leak before it was fixed.

“I tasted it myself and it is an inconvenience... We’ll get over it.”