Oklahomans to vote on local bond projects Tuesday

Monday, November 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahomans will vote on local bond issues Tuesday that will fund school, jail and various other improvement projects throughout the state.

In Oklahoma City, voters will consider a pair of tax proposals that would raise nearly $700 million for school improvements.

In Tulsa, residents will decide the fate of a $140.7 million bond package for capital improvements at Tulsa Public Schools.

And in Creek County, voters will consider paying a one-cent sales tax to help the beleaguered Creek County jail.

Other questions on Tuesday's ballots include a $4.9 million bond in Cleveland that would pay for a new elementary school, a $15 million bond for street improvements in Midwest City and a one-cent sales tax to operate the Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Murray County.

The Oklahoma City proposal, called MAPS for Kids, includes a seven-year sales tax that would start in January at a half-cent.

Those who live in the city school district _ including Midwest City, The Village, Nichols Hills and Spencer _ will vote on a $180 million bond issue.

The sales tax is expected to raise $512 million.

The MAPS for Kids plan would close 21 city schools, pay for three new high schools and would include $1 million in renovations at nearly every middle and elementary school and $3 million for high schools. It also would include $35 million for technology improvements and $9 million for new school buses.

In Tulsa, the school bond package includes four improvements: $101,545,000 for facility repair and construction; $8 million for libraries; $25,765,000 for textbooks and technology; and $5.4 million for transportation.

A citizens committee developed the package, which calls for extensive roof and air conditioning replacement as well as one school replacement and several major overhauls of schools.

In Creek County, one-third of a one-cent sales tax would go toward the construction of a $10 million jail.

The state Fire Marshal's Office last week gave Creek County officials three days to reduce overcrowding at the jail. Otherwise, the jail would be closed.

Jail officials complied by releasing some nonviolent offenders and farming out a number of sentenced criminals to the Department of Corrections.

The rest of the sales tax money would pay for highway improvements and the operations of law enforcement.

Elsewhere in the state, Henryetta school voters will take action on a $1.1 million proposal to pay for demolishing some district facilities and remodeling others. The measure also would fund equipment.

In Osage County, Fairfax voters will decide a one-cent sales tax increase to fund street, sidewalk and alley improvements.

In the southern Muskogee County town of Warner, school leaders are asking residents to approve $800,000 in bonds for technology upgrades, two elementary school roofs, a bus barn and the first phase of a multipurpose, middle-school building.

Webbers Falls will consider a $300,000 bond issue for science and agricultural labs. The proposal also would pay for a new gymnasium roof and other remodeling projects.