Dozens of districts make mill levies permanent

Tuesday, February 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Dozens of Oklahoma school districts voted Tuesday to make property-tax millage revenues permanent, rather than having to vote on them every year.

Sixty-two school districts in the Oklahoma City area and all Tulsa area districts, except Bartlesville and Skiatook, took advantage of the passage of State Question 690 in November, which gave districts that option.

School districts need the millages to support local schools.

"It will save us the cost of an election in the future unless we have a board member running," Jim Capps, superintendent of the Putnam City School District, said.

Voters in the Pottawatomie County school district of North Rock Creek rejected permanent levies by a 109-108 count.

North Rock Creek Superintendent James Langston was surprised to hear that the annual millages failed.

"I suppose we'll be running a new election shortly, at an extra cost to the district," Langston said.

Voters in the dependent K-8 district in Shawnee also rejected a measure to make the millages permanent, as did the Riverside District in El Reno.

By state law, districts that don't get annual millages approved on the first vote must have a second election. If voters reject the millages a second time, the district might have to consolidate with a neighboring district or close.

Voters across Oklahoma also passed several bond measures Tuesday.

Voters in Midwest City approved the re-authorization of a half-cent sales tax to fund capital improvements and police and fire operations.

A half-cent sales tax was passed in Kingfisher County to generate about $450,000 annually for various county operations.

Voters in Norman approved an $8.6 million bond issue for the Norman School District's Performing Arts Center and other projects.

In Nichols Hills, voters approved a $7.6 million bond issue to finance street repairs and improvements to sewer and water systems.

Dewar voters in Okmulgee County approved a $250,000 bond issue for school improvements.

In Delaware County, voters in Jay approved a $415,000 bond issue for the construction of a media-library center and other school improvements.

Voters in Chelsea and Grove approved sales tax hikes to finance water and sewer improvements.

An $11.7 million bond passed in Sand Springs includes $1.05 million for transportation upgrades and $10.65 million for facility and technology upgrades.

Union voters approved a $12 million bond package, of which $4 million will be used for operational needs including textbooks, maintenance equipment and air conditioning in special education buses. The other $8 million will fund the second phase of construction of a student activity center next to Union-Tuttle Stadium.