NORMAN — The recent passage of the transportation bond by Norman voters has freed up several million dollars over the course of the next few years that the city can devote to other projects. This year, $1.9 million previously budgeted toward road projects has been freed up and now is available for use.
The Norman Finance Committee, which is comprised of city council members and city finance staff, met Wednesday evening to discuss possible projects for the funds. Linda Price of the city’s planning and community development department presented possible projects for consideration.
“These are high-profile projects that we would like to see get done,” Price said.
The first thing to be deducted from the available money will be expected cost overruns from other transportation projects, including up to $400,000 on the Robinson Street railroad underpass. All totaled, overruns from six city transportation projects is estimated to run as much as $625,000, leaving the city with $1.3 million to spend on other items.
New road projects identified by council members as priorities during the finance committee meeting included the Indian Hills Road overpass deck at a cost of $150,000 and the signals and intersection at 12th Avenue Northeast and High Meadows Drive at a cost of $70,000. High traffic, a school and apartments for persons with disabilities makes the High Meadows intersection a high safety priority, council members said.
In response to the city clerk’s request, council members also identified the council chamber’s audio visual system replacement as a high priority. The estimated price tag on that is $350,000.
While council member Tom Kovach said he would like to look at other unfunded building maintenance needs as part of an effort for the city to take care of what it already has, a need to replace three HVAC systems was identified. Those systems are in the Reaves Center for $10,000, the Senior Center for $10,000 and the Firehouse Art Center for $15,000.