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July 8, 2014

Moore will look at walkability near damaged neighborhoods

MOORE — Cardinal Engineering will guide Moore through a Tornado Area Infrastructure Recovery and Implementation Plan, city leaders confirmed Monday.

The Moore City Council approved a contract not to exceed $229,000 for the study. A Community Development Block Grant -Disaster Recovery (DR) grant will reimburse the cost.

“We had originally set aside $250,00 for this plan, but it came in under budget,” Community Development Director Elizabeth Jones said.

The plan is required by Housing and Urban Development as part of the requirement for receiving the funding. The grant money will pay for long-term, unmet needs for replacement of city infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, water lines, sewer lines and stormwater drainage.

Residents can vote online for a vision to improve tornado-damaged neighborhoods in the near future.

“We really want to get people’s excitement up about these projects,” Jones said. “It is a requirement from HUD that we have citizen input.”

The city plans to use online participation tools to increase input because meetings don’t always draw a lot of people, Jones said. The city can post architectural renderings of streetscapes and may do a visual preference survey where residents can weigh in on what they want to see in their neighborhoods.

One of the most exciting projects is a walkability assessment for Plaza Towers Elementary School and Highland East Junior High School.

“We’ll get a group of people together — it might be students, teachers and administrators or people from the neighborhood — the team will walk the area and note things to be changed to make the neighborhood more walkable,” Jones said.

Briarwood Elementary is a Moore school but is located in Oklahoma City limits and will not be included in the plan.

Moore city staff interviewed three firms, including Guernesy Engineering and SKW, but negotiated a contract with Cardinal Engineering after deciding Cardinal would be the best fit for the project.

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