Road conditions in many locations around Durant have been a hot-button topic for local residents for the last several years.

Those issues have included large potholes that continue to return, as well as drainage issues in certain areas when it rains.

During its regular monthly meeting last week, the Durant City Council took a major step toward making roughly $2 million worth of street improvements by approving a recommendation from City Manager John Dean.

According to Mayor Oden Grube, the total adds up to 8.2 miles of new roadways in town.

Extensive discussion ensued. Councilman Jerry Tomlinson requested that streets in the downtown area remain with their brick look when construction reaches that area.

The biggest locations in the initial proposal include University Boulevard from Larkspur to University Place as well as from Estelle to Westside Drive.

Also, a proposed Main Street improvement area is from 9th to 15th streets, and then possibly from 9th Street to Katy depending on whether things come in on budget after the opening bids are received, according to the proposal.

In total, there are 30 locations on the list of Durant streets that will receive improvements.

Dean told the council that included in the approved agreement is professional services with Wall Engineering, which includes the widening of two locations on University and another on Main Street.

During the discussion, Councilman Danny Sherrer asked about including sidewalks in the project. He was told it could be designed with sidewalks and that would then be included in the bid.

Fellow Councilman Mike Morris stressed that there was far more than 8.2 miles of city roadway in need of resurfacing.

Tomlinson also added that a hydrology study will help with water runoff during a decent-sized rain, which has continually plagued the Main Street area for many years.

The council also unanimously approved Ordinance 1897, which will create a regional planning commission effective July 1.

"This will give us subdivision authority within three miles of the city limits," Doan told the council. "It gives us some regulatory control for the nearby county subdivisions. It follows state statutes. Durant, however, will be the first city in the state to do this even though the statute has been on the books since 1977."

Morris asked if the city would be responsible for any infrastructure within the subdivisions and was told no.

Also during the meeting, Resolution 2020-17 was passed to extend the COVID-19 State of Emergency to May 28, which keeps the city in line with Oklahoma’s ongoing reopening program.

A collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police was also approved for the 2020-21 fiscal year, authorizing the mayor to sign the agreement or take any other appropriate action.

There was also considerable discussion among the council on the pending budget and grant contract modification for water and wastewater improvements.

A total of $939,366 was reportedly awarded for the infrastructure improvements, including grant reimbursement.

With the considerable amount of confusion, the city manager recommended the motion be tabled and it was by the council.

In public hearing information, a final plat for Pecan Creek, located at 49th Street and Kimberly Road, was approved contingent on the agreement that current streets are fixed.

The council also voted to rezone a pair of property locations.

The first, on the northeast corner of Wilson Street and 49th, went from general agriculture to single-family residential. Also, property near the intersection of South 9th Street and Big Lots Parkway was changed from medium-industrial to highway- commercial recreation.

The council meeting wrapped up with an update from Emergency Management Director James Dalton about the new fueling set up at the Durant Regional Airport.

Other Durant streets to be resurfaced

North-side streets

North 5th from Main to Walnut

North 4th from Main to Beech

North 7th from Elm to Mulberry

North 12th from Elm to Live Oak

Live Oak east of 12th to 9th Street

100 block of North 19th

Waco from North 10th to 12th Street

Hill Street to North 9th

Chuckwa west of 10th to North 7th

Wilson from North 1st to Four Seasons Drive

Estelle from University Blvd. to Chuckwa

Chuckwa from Estelle to east

Mockingbird from Washington to John Junction

1200 block of North 16th

1200 block of Grand Avenue

South-side streets

Arkansas Street from South 1st to South 9th

South 5th from Arkansas Street to Tennessee Street

South 10th from Georgia Street to Texas Street

Mississippi Street from South 9th to 11th

100 block of Mississippi Street

100 block of Louisiana Street

1200 and 1300 blocks of Louisiana Street

100 to the 300 blocks of Texas Street

East-side streets

Northeast 2nd 70E to East Main

Southeast 1st from East Main to East Arkansas Street

East Arkansas from Southeast 1st to Southeast 3rd

Northeast 5th from East Main to East Cedar

East Arkansas from Southeast 3rd to Southeast 5th Street

500 block of Northeast 4th

Timberline Drive