The Tahlequah Public Works Board of Trustees on Friday approved a policy requiring all parties involved in residential development to share the cost of new electrical projects.
In the past, TPWA assumed the cost of installing electrical facilities for home developers, but board members suspended the policy so members of the committee could gather more information.
The policy approved Friday requires all interested entities’ participation when determining roles and cost liabilities before the project proposal goes to the board for approval.
“We reached out to everybody involved, including the builders and the developers,” said policy committee Chairman Dr. Mark Smith.
“The mayor had us in his office, and we talked in depth with everyone about this. I think this is a very workable policy that is favorable to everybody that helps with the development of Tahlequah.”
There are no hidden agendas in the policy, which went into effect on Friday, said General Manager Mark Chesney.
“The developer and TPWA will work together to [come up with] a bonafide cost estimate,” he said.
“The policy committee met numerous times since our February meeting. I just really want to compliment [policy committee member] Mr. [Herb] Rozell and Dr. Smith. They’ve really given us a lot of their time, both in the office and outside of the office, to craft what we think is just an excellent policy that gives attention to all parties that are interested in developing real estate. It is indeed a contribution in aid. It sets out what responsibility is whose in the entire process of taking land and developing real estate and setting electrical utilities and everything related to it.”
Sharing the burden of labor and cost should strengthen the process of housing development, while ensuring policy mandates are honored, said Chesney.
“The fact is, all the builders in town know [what to expect],” he said.
“We brought them right in on this, so no one’s going to get a surprise, as far as who does what. Before, we said TPWA will do everything and then we’ll get reimbursement when you sell a lot. That’s fine and the board was OK with that, but they thought there’s a better way to do this. We just identify things now. You do this and we do that and spread it out that way. It’s in place now. We didn’t push off the effective date like we did last time. It’s ready to go.”