WHY VOTE YES: Quality of Life As Oklahoma City continues to grow, it is important that the city continues to invest in itself. The upcoming election on Sept. 12 will give Oklahoma City residents 15 opportunities to do just that by voting yes. In addition to the investments in street repair and public safety funding that have already been covered, the bond issue and sales tax proposals also invest in Oklahoma City’s quality of life in order to continue its momentum and create jobs for its residents. Oklahoma City’s primary means of providing its residents with services, like parks to enjoy, libraries to visit, trails to use, etc., is through sales tax collections. With the number of residents increasing but the sales tax collections dropping, it is more important than ever to proactively invest in the City’s critical needs and in projects that all residents have the opportunity to enjoy.
Portions of the bond issue will address critical needs like drainage control, needed park improvements, increased public transit funding and maintenance of city buildings like libraries, City office buildings, the central maintenance facility and others. The bond issue will also invest in economic and community development programs that, as a result of the voter-approved 2007 bond issue, have helped create more than 4,200 good-paying jobs in Oklahoma City. Coalition Formed to Build a Safer, Better OKC continued from page 1
Improving Oklahoma City’s streets and continuing to invest in safety are consistently among the top concerns of residents, and both are investments that will improve every corner of the community. In the City’s most recent resident satisfaction survey, the top concern remained the quality of Oklahoma City’s streets. Only 9 percent of residents said that they were satisfied with Oklahoma City’s streets, and TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, ranked Oklahoma City’s streets as the eighth-worst in the nation among cities with more than 500,000 people. As Oklahoma City continues to grow and welcome new residents, it is important that the City continues to invest in critical infrastructure improvements. For this reason, a majority of the bond funds, around $607 million, are dedicated to repairing Oklahoma City’s streets and bridges, building sidewalks, improving drainage and making other street enhancements. When combined with the temporary sales tax extension, an estimated $847 million will be invested in street improvements.
The permanent quarter-cent sales tax will also meet Oklahoma City’s need for more police officers and firefighters protecting residents. The funds generated each year will hire 129 police officers and 57 firefighters. Mayor Norick spoke to how important the campaign is to the Oklahoma City community. “We have made such progress in the last 25 years, and we need to keep that momentum to maintain and improve this city. Surveys of city residents and business owners both show the demand for better streets and infrastructure improvements. These projects are important to economic development and to citizens’ quality of life.” For more details about the members of the coalition, the proposals or how you can be involved in the effort, visit www.betterokc.com.
7 CITYSCAPE AN UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS MOVING OKC FORWARD
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