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Norman residents will vote on $42.6M bond proposal in August

Norman residents will get their chance to vote on a $42.6 million bond proposal that promises to address a flood-prone area dubbed “Lake McGee,” among other projects. City council members voted unanimously for an Aug. 28 special election.
by Andrew Knittle Published: April 26, 2012

Some audience members asked why a sales tax wasn't being proposed and argued it could raise the money faster.

Ward 2 Councilman Tom Kovach said he supported the idea of using general obligation bonds instead of a sales tax because he doesn't want taxpayers paying more than they need to.

“You can't levy a sales tax for a specific amount. We know exactly how much money we're going to issue this bond for ... there won't be anything more than that,” Kovach said.

“The only way to fund a road project with a sales tax would be to do it in such a fashion where there is likely to be millions more dollars collected than what we need. I don't think anybody wants that.”

Other business

The council accepted a bid from Tulsa-based Atlas General Contractors to build Fire Station 9 on the city's east side. The contract is for $3.8 million.

Funds for a new fire station come from the public safety sales tax, passed by voters in 2008. Fire Station 8 opened in 2011 on the city's west side and was paid for from the same tax source.

The public safety sales tax also was approved to hire more police officers and firefighters.

O'Leary commented on the success of recently installed flashing yellow lights that tell drivers to yield to oncoming traffic while making left turns. Traffic accidents have dropped 30 percent at 12th and Lindsey, where a flashing yellow light has been in place for months.

O'Leary said the intersection traditionally has the highest number of left-turn accidents in Norman.

“Our early results are very remarkable and very favorable,” he said.

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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