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.”
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.