School patrons in Poteau, Okemah, Sulphur and Keys approved bond

issues that would pay for new school construction, athletic

facilities and computers, while voters in Craig County, Keifer,

Sallisaw and Norman rejected spending proposals for school and city


The issues were among a number of proposals on ballots across

Oklahoma on Tuesday.

Okemah residents voted 478-274 for the $2.385 million bond issue

that would pay for construction of a new high school near

Interstate 40. The present school will be converted into a middle

school, Superintendent Ron Meadows said after Tuesday's balloting.

He hopes the nearly 70-year-old middle school will be torn down.

In Craig County, the vote turning down the penny sales tax was

1,222 to 442.

"I don't know if the public understands the seriousness of

this," Undersheriff Mark Hayes said. "I guess we'll wait awhile

and try again."

The state fire marshal's office sued the county last year,

citing jail overcrowding. A judge could have declared an emergency

and raised property taxes to fund improvements, Sheriff George

Vaughn said.

The sales tax would have funded an 80-bed, $4.7 million

facility. The present 32-bed, 72-year-old jail averages about 50

prisoners a day, Vaughn said.

In Norman, voters rejected five of six "quality of life"

projects totaling almost $30 million. A proposal for $290,000 to

improve the Norman Public Library passed 5,773 to 5,693.

The voters rejected a $4.14 million communications system, a

$9.9 million parks and recreation proposal and projects to extend

Front Street, improve three cultural buildings and to add parking


Mayor Bob Thompson said the city would go ahead with the library

improvements, which include new tables and chairs, carpet and a new

sound system. The other issues will go back on the city's wish


In other elections:

-- Poteau voters passed a $300,000 bond issue for school

computers by a 70 percent margin, 420 to 180. The money will

replace 190 old computers that aren't Y2K-compliant.

-- Keys School District voters approved an $845,000 bond issue to

build classrooms, restrooms and a running track for the Cherokee

County community.

-- In Coweta, residents approved a $1.9 million proposition for a

new elementary school, which will house kindergarten through fourth

grade students.

-- A $700,000 three-phase bond issue to build a junior high

school in Keifer fell a few votes short of the required 60 percent

needed for approval, marking the second time in two years the issue

has been narrowly defeated.

-- Voters in the Midwest City-Del City school district approved a

$10.46 million bond issue on a 2,259-580 vote. Portions of the bond

issue will be used to place multimedia workstations in each

elementary school and for engineering and architectural work on a

new fieldhouse at Carl Albert High School.

-- Voters in El Reno approved a $1.275 million proposal to build

and furnish an activity center at Roblyer Middle School.

-- Cache School District patrons approved a $1.1 million

construction bond proposal on a 201-110 vote.

-- Voters in the Perkins-Tryon School District approved a

$500,000 bond issue to add elementary school classrooms. The vote

was 374-170.

In Sallisaw, school patrons rejected a $2.75 million bond

proposal to build a new 1,000-seat auditorium and a new

six-classroom kindergarten center.

School officials wanted to provide full-day kindergarten classes

for the 130 first-year students in the district. The auditorium

would have included classrooms, space for theatrical scene

construction, storage and restrooms.

Patrons in Sulphur approved a $1 million bond proposal to buy

new heating and air-conditioning equipment for the elementary

school and two wings of the high school, plus a new roof for the

middle school.

Also, to comply with federal handicap-access laws, all restrooms

in the district will be upgraded, and new hardware will be added to

all doors throughout the district, which has about 1,360 students.

Also approved were two bond issues totaling $730,000 for

computers, new seating at the high school football field, parking

improvements and buses in the Cushing School District.

And in Grady County, voters passed a quarter-cent sales tax to

make renovations and maintain the county fairgrounds, which were

built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. The

fairgrounds were used as a POW camp during World War II. The tax

will raise an estimated $469,000 a year for 15 years.

County officials have specified $4 million in renovations,

including the installation of a new floor and roof at the exhibit

building, doubling the arena's size and making the entire grounds

accessible to the handicapped. County residents also decided to

expand the enhanced 911 service by a 1,121 to 397 vote.

In Garfield County, two school districts approved bond issues.

Patrons in Garber's school district approved a $945,000 bond

issue, proceeds of which will be used to improve roofs, buy

computers, replace air- conditioning units and build a gymnasium


Voters in Kremlin-Hillsdale's district approved two issues. One

for $200,000 passed by a 158-70 margin, or 69.3 percent. It will

repair the roof on the school building, replace carpeting and buy

computers. Patrons also passed a $175,000 issue to buy three buses.

By a 69 percent margin, voters in the Perkins-Tryon school

district supported a $500,000 bond issue for elementary school

improvements, including expansion of the school library. It passed, 374-168.