Oklahoma County voters made it clear they want to see Tinker Air Force Base be able to expand.
A $50 million bond issue that supporters said will help keep Tinker open during the next round of base closings received 72 percent approval Tuesday. The vote was 30,759 in favor and 11,818 against.
``The thing that's so important, it sends a very, very strong signal to our Air Force senior leadership, who was watching this vote very clearly to see community's resolve,'' said retired Air Force Gen. Richard Burpee, executive director of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
``With nearly 73 percent in favor, that's a very strong signal that this Oklahoma City community is behind Tinker Air Force Base.''
The bond issue will be used to buy private property near the base so a safety and security zone can be expanded near a runway. There also could be additional space for private contractors to do work associated with the maintenance depot at the base.
The bond issue is expected to result in slight increases in property taxes. For a home worth $100,000, taxes would increase about $2 per month for 10 years to pay off the bonds.
The Tinker bond issue was one of several items on ballots across the state.
In Garfield County, the vote was 5,375 against and 4,402 in favor of the half-cent sales tax, which would have funded construction of the 215-bed jail. It was the second time in three years voters had rejected funding a new jail.
``We gave it our best shot,'' Garfield County Commissioner Wendell Vencl said.
Enid Mayor Doug Frantz, who was part of the opposition group, said he hopes some county officials will agree to join Enid's City/County Jail Oversight Committee.
``We can all work together and figure something out,'' he said. ``We don't have any choice.''
The state attorney general's office had filed a lawsuit in November to close the current 76-bed jail. The state jail inspector, citing structural and staffing problems, requested the lawsuit.
Attorney Stephen Jones said Tuesday night that two former Garfield County Jail inmates would proceed with a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county, alleging jail conditions violate the inmates' constitutional rights. It could include the city of Enid as a defendant because its jail may not be adequate either.
``I suspect that in the end the jail will prove much more expensive than the one that was presented,'' he said.
Voters in several school districts decided bond proposal to fund projects, including new classrooms and equipment.
Voters in the Jay school district rejected a $1.465 million proposal to replace roofs in the district. In Pawhuska, two school bonds totaling $500,000 for school construction and new buses failed to get the required 60 percent approval.
The same happened in Westville, involving a $300,000 bond for school construction and a $400,000 school bond for buses.
Comanche County voters, by a better than 2-to-1 margin, approved a five-year, quarter-cent tax for economic development.
The measure is expected to provide $8.5 million for a modernization project at the Goodyear tire plant, incentives and infrastructure development. The tax will take effect June 1.