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Greater Tulsa Reporter


B.A. Begins Bond Discussions, Will Hold Public Forums in February

By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

As 2018 gets underway, Broken Arrow residents can expect to hear much over the coming months regarding a mid-year general obligation bond issue. The vote is planned for August, says City Manager Michael Spurgeon.

Planning has begun on creating the bond package that will be presented to voters.

That planning will include consideration of feedback gained from the city’s online citizen survey that was available Oct. 1-Nov. 10. Also, the City is planning to host a series of public meetings on Feb. 22, 26, 27. Visit brokenarrowok.gov for additional info.

High on the list of citizen-supported projects involve street improvements, storm drainage, public safety and quality-of-life initiatives, Spurgeon says.

“Broken Arrow citizens and the City Council both want a focus on transportation issues, which include street widening, especially many of the city’s east-west running streets, and improved and widened intersections to increase traffic flow,” he says.

Spurgeon estimates that about $300 million in proposed packages are currently on the table. He expects the final bond package to be between $120 and $200 million, with no tax increase. Between $90 and $100 million will most likely be stipulated for general street maintenance.

Regarding quality-of-life initiatives, approximately $30 million is expected to be set aside for park improvements.

Further along in the future, the City’s vision for Broken Arrow’s parks system involves “creating a park or a recreational multi-use facility that will provide a regional draw to bring people to the community to stay in area hotels,” he says.

Citizens also responded favorably in the survey to the City’s proposed Innovation District, which received a 90-percent approval rating.

The aim of this district would be to bring together the private sector, including aerospace and high-tech industries, and public education partnerships with the goal to grow STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers and attract high-tech companies to Broken Arrow.

The next step will be to hire a consultant to help in outlining the full vision, Spurgeon says.

The city’s two recycling pilot programs are planned to kick off during the summer months. They will last up to nine months.

One program involves the use of one plastic bin for recycling with trash bags continuing to be used for trash. The second program involves the use of two plastic bins—one for trash and one for recycling.

Each pilot program will include 500 participants.

The City is currently determining participants for the pilot programs with a focus on choosing participants from a broad range of housing types and neighborhoods.
In 2017, the city saw 500 new homes under construction with that same growth projected to continue for the next three years, Spurgeon says.

“Much of the new home construction occurred in south Broken Arrow.”

As residential growth continues in south Broken Arrow, Spurgeon believes that developers will begin to view that portion of town as a viable place to launch commercial projects.

Additionally, the area is already prepared to meet that future development with $20 million invested in infrastructure by the City of Broken Arrow.

“We wanted to prime the area for growth, but it is going to take time with the private sector,” he says.

Updated 01-30-2018

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