BA Residents Trim City's $80 Million Wish List

Monday, May 19th 2014, 10:37 pm
By: News On 6

Monday night, people in Broken Arrow had the chance to trim the city's $80 million wish list.

The mayor, city manager and councilors took a back seat tonight and listened to residents tell them which projects should be included in the next city bond.

It's a wish list that adds up to $80 million dollars. Now, Broken Arrow residents are being asked to edit it down.

"This a wish list of items and the citizens, we need their input on it to see what their priorities are and what they want to vote for," Mayor Craig Thurmond said.

Mayor Thurmond said the city would like to improve streets, build a dog park and amphitheater and improve police and fire training facilities and flood control, but they can't afford to spend the $80 million dollars to do all of that. So, residents must decide what stays and what goes.

"This is our way of being transparent," City spokesperson Krist Flasch said.

Flasch said improving roads, like smoothing out potholes and making several streets such as Kenosha, Elm and Aspen five lanes, is non-negotiable.

"We're the second fastest growing city after OKC, so we're growing fast and traffic is increasing," said Mayor Thurmond. "So we want to make sure it's easy to get around."

Residents at this community meeting want their streets improved but said getting a dog park or amphitheater is not a priority.

Mayor Thurmond said the city will knock the list's price tag down to $40 to $60 million dollars in bonds.

Flasch said regardless of how much the city spends on these bond projects, the city will not raise taxes.

"It does not increase the tax burden on Broken Arrow citizens," Flasch said.

The reason taxes won't increase is because this is a general obligation bond, essentially paid for by property taxes. If council approves the final proposed bond projects, the bond will go to a city vote in August.