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BA First Responders To Grow If Vision 2025 Tax Renewal Passes

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The propositions would be paid for by a Vision 2025 tax renewal, extending the existing sales tax. The propositions would be paid for by a Vision 2025 tax renewal, extending the existing sales tax.
The City of Broken Arrow is pushing voters to get out and approve two propositions. The City of Broken Arrow is pushing voters to get out and approve two propositions.
The real concern for new city manager Michael Spurgin is growing response times. The real concern for new city manager Michael Spurgin is growing response times.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

The City of Tulsa and several surrounding communities are emphasizing public safety at the polls.

Early voting began Thursday for Broken Arrow, where people are voting on two propositions – one of those would fund hiring 40 new first responders.

The city said, while the population has nearly doubled over the past decade and continues to grow, Broken Arrow police and fire are understaffed.

"Broken Arrow citizens will vote on two propositions that will affect public safety and the quality of our streets," a promotional video says.

The City of Broken Arrow is pushing voters to get out and approve two propositions - one of which would direct $3.9 million to hire and outfit 20 police officers and 20 firefighters.

According to the video, "Our call volume is outpacing our ability to serve the public."

The Tulsa Police Department has one officer for every 500 citizens; Broken Arrow Police have one for every 800.

The real concern for new city manager Michael Spurgin is growing response times. The city said the fire department's response times have grown almost 90 percent in the last decade.

"Just the sheer size of our city - both population and area - it demands that we make sure to keep a high level of service to be able to have additional firefighters and officers to be able to respond," Spurgin said.

The city wants first responders to keep response time at five minutes, maximum, which can only be done with new hires.

The other proposition would direct $3.3 million to streets - repairing nearly 120 miles.

A city study says two-thirds of BA neighborhood roads need major repair.

Spurgin said, "Just having the additional funds is going to allow us to have more streets repaired and maintained each year."

The propositions would be paid for by a Vision 2025 tax renewal, extending the existing sales tax.

If the proposition passes, the fire department could even open a seventh fire station.

Early voting is happening now, and Election Day is November 10th.

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