Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Millions at Stake in Oklahoma City as Bond Votes Loom

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Millions at Stake in Oklahoma City as Bond Votes Loom

Article excerpt

The city is at an important crossroads for its future and in less than two weeks voters will decide which direction to take, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said Wednesday.

"We at the city are really in the midst of what we consider perhaps the most important year of this era of city government," said Cornett, promoting an $835.5 million general obligation bond issue at a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber luncheon. The election is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Cornett said anxiety has been building ahead of the event. Within a 12-month period, voters will face three major bond issues: a bond issue for the Oklahoma City Public Schools district, the city bond issue at hand, and a massive MAPS-3 issue. The first, valued at nearly $250 million, was approved in October; officials expect the third item to go to a public vote by late summer.

The current issue, the largest in the city's history, has been divided into 11 propositions that require separate votes. City officials tailored the package in response to a citizen survey conducted earlier this year that revealed overwhelming support for street improvements.

The largest chunk of money, $497.5 million, is earmarked for resurfacing, widening and rebuilding more than 750 lane-miles of streets, mostly in residential areas. The proposition also includes 350 miles of sidewalks and leisure trails.

The second-largest component, $89.8 million, will go to parks and recreational facilities. It will fund 14 new playgrounds, eight basketball courts, two parks, 13 community centers and renovation at the Myriad Botanical Gardens downtown.

Other propositions involve bridge repair, traffic control systems, drainage control systems, the fire and police departments, libraries, city maintenance facilities and mass transit systems.

"These are the building blocks of the community. …

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