Claremore Daily Progress

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August 7, 2012

Keetonville Road project deja vu

CLAREMORE — Rogers County commissioners voted 2 to 1 Monday to support the realignment of Keetonville Road to 86th Street North near Owasso.

Commissioner Dan DeLozier opposed the plan that comes only weeks after the realignment project to connect the road to SH 266 failed.
The Circuit Engineering District pulled project funding for the proposed plan a week ago after both DeLozier and Kirt Thacker voted against the measure.
Now commissioner Mike Helm is seeking the 86th Street option that is expected to cost approximately $6.1 million. 
The item will be sent back to the CED for approval. Helm said the project is to be funded solely by the organization.
The project originated from the closure of Keetonville Road in 2008,  after flooding and water damage washed out a portion of the roadway.
The disaster eventually filed with FEMA led to the $18 million in funds that Helm was awarded to correct the water and erosion issue in the area.
After years of debate and multiple project proposals including the existing route, Helm has not fixed the road or offered a viable alternative.
The last time this route was presented it was met with steep opposition in August 2010.
At that time, the Claremore Progress reported that FEMA would be able to reimburse $5.1 million of the proposed project costs.
It is unclear now why the project funding will not come from FEMA where it was originally intended for use.
Helm did make it very clear that the money that once was dedicated to this project is no longer associated with it and that this is a completely separate issue.
The funding from FEMA is now dedicated to an alternative project list.
In the approximately five years since the issue with Keetonville Road began, this is the first time it has not been referred to as a FEMA project.
Previously, the project was delayed waiting of FEMA approval according to county records.

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