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Choctaw approves improvements

By Ryan Horton
Choctaw Times

New parking lot planned for Choctaw’s Bouse Sports Complex

The City of Choctaw moved forward with plans to pave a new parking lot at Bouse Sports Complex.

The lot will be funded by $200,000 in Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for Non-Entitlement Units of Government (ARPA Funds).

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivered $350 billion to state, local and tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency, and the City of Choctaw received their piece of the pie.

A total of 230 new parking spaces will be added at Bouse Sports Complex, located at 1333 N Indian Meridian Rd.

The new north lot will mirror the existing south parking lot.

The lot will be a three-inch thick base with a two-inch asphalt layer on top.

It’ll be 265 feet wide and 133 feet long with a six-inch curbing and 10-inch guttering with an estimated 30-year lifespan.

The spending of ARPA funds was planned at a special April 2022 meeting just before the April 30 deadline.

City Councilman Chad Williams was the only official to vote against releasing the ARPA funds for the parking lot. He once again voiced his concerns at the Jan. 17 regular City Council meeting when he was outvoted, and the funding was approved.

“This is why I voted no back in April. We have a dedicated sales tax to pay for Bouse. We get some unexpected money and we spend it on something we already have a dedicated tax for. That $200,000 could have gone a long way to a water study we desperately need. We could have got that done in a timely manner,” said Chad Williams.

Williams was referencing a dedicated park improvement quarter-cent sales tax that tax has been collected since April 1, 2011. Funds raised from the ongoing tax were leveraged to finance the initial construction of the Bouse Sports Complex.

The councilman believes the park tax should have funded any improvements at that site, while addressing the community’s longtime flood issues would be most beneficial to residents.
In addition to the $200,000 going to Bouse Sports Complex, $700,000 was allotted for the ongoing update of city water meters.

Additionally, $325,000 was being spent on SCBA/bunker gear for the fire department, $267,000 was going toward vehicles and equipment, $50,000 was set aside for the senior center, $50,000 was to be invested into 10 Acre Lake improvements, and $18,000 was approved to go toward splash pads.

City installing smart meters

Choctaw is moving forward with a plan to convert the city’s residential and commercial water meters to automatic electronic devices.

Choctaw City Council voted to award funding for an automatic meter installation project to Metron Farnier of Boulder, Colorado in the amount of $696,000.

“This will get us 1,920 smart meters at a price of $362.50 each,” said interim public works director Stuart Drake. “We currently have 2,162 meters so this will be a big chunk of what we need to move in the right direction.”

The city will start installation in the south and move north through the city limits in phases.

The first batch will 900 meters and is expected for delivery in four to six weeks. An additional order will arrive approximately six weeks later.

“In a perfect world, we’d have them all installed in five or six months,” said Drake. “We’ll attack as soon as we get them, and already have 51 installed.”
The meters will not require a city employee to physically read the meter, and they should be more accurate than the old equipment.
“There will be an app on your phone that you can check and see your water usage,” said Drake. “This meter reads every minute so it can tell the difference between a shower, dishwasher and toilet flushing.”

Improved accuracy could cause residents to better monitored and control their water usage, but could also result in high revenue for the city.
Officials project low flow rate capture could increase by seven to 10 percent, because old meters ae not accurately recording all water passing through.

“Some of our mechanical meters are over 30 years old so they’re not as accurate as they should be,” said Drake.

Data is free for 10 years, while the meters are under warranty.

“If they were not under warranty that cost would be $9 per meter, per year,” said Drake.
However, officials expect that data rate to be lower in 10 years when that may be a cost the city must take on.


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