NORMAN — Norman voters Tuesday passed a $42.6 million general obligation bond package designed to finance improvements to correct long-standing flooding problems and ease traffic congestion.
The unofficial vote was 5,761 yes to 3,627 no with all 49 precincts counted.
Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said the hard work of a citizens committee helped get the bond package passed.
“They worked very hard to reach out to other citizens and convince them of the need for this,” she said. “I think this shows that when Norman works together, great things can be accomplished.”
Property taxes, over a 20-year debt-financing period, will go up $3 a month on a home valued at $100,000, Public Works Director Shawn O'Leary said.
The bond package includes eight projects estimated to cost $89 million. City leaders anticipate federal transportation grant funds will pay for $46.4 million, or 52 percent, O'Leary said. The general obligation bond package will cover the rest.
The projects include improvements to two bridges and six arterial streets. The projects will widen major connecting streets on outer edges of the city limits, alleviate some of Norman's most traffic-congested areas and enhance public safety, O'Leary said.
The plan is to correct flooding problems on W Lindsey Street, W Main Street and Franklin Road. Some of the flooding has plagued motorists and residents for the past 40 years, officials said.
On W Lindsey Street, plans are to widen from three to five lanes one mile of roadway between Berry and 24th Avenue and add major stormwater improvements, particularly at McGee Drive, where people call the intersection “Lake McGee.” The project will also tie in with the Interstate 35 and Lindsey interchange project.
Councilman Tom Kovach said fixing “Lake McGee” was the main reason he ran for office.
“I wanted a solution to Lake McGee,” he said. “I pledged I would be the voice echoing Lake McGee until something was done about it.”