B.A. Voters Approve $210 Million GO Bond
By BOB LEWIS
HELP FOR STREETS: The positive BA bond vote will help improve many of the streets of Broken Arrow.
Photo by BOB LEWIS for BA Express
Extending a tradition that dates back more than three decades, Broken Arrow voters went to the polls on Aug. 28 to approve a $210 million general obligation bond issue designed to help fuel community growth for the next 10 years.
Unofficial results showed all six propositions passed with margins ranging from 63 percent to 75 percent.
Given the green light by voters were $142.6 million for transportation; $20.3 million for public safety; $17.7 million for parks and recreation; $16.8 million for public facilities; $7.5 million for stormwater handling, and $5.5 million for drainage.
In all, 88 different projects were on the ballot, including the widening of Houston (81st) Street from Garnett Road to Aspen (145th East Avenue); the widening of 23rd Street (County Line Road) between Omaha (51st) and Albany (61st) streets; improvement of intersections on 9th Street (Lynn Lane) near Highway 51; construction of Fire Station No 7, construction of a Senior Citizen Center annex, and a myriad of quality of life improvements across the city.
Despite the size and scope of the bond package, officials note it is below the city’s bonding capacity meaning all the undertakings listed will be completed without the need to increase taxes.
Russell Peterson, president of the Build A Better Broken Arrow Committee, a community service organization founded to help shape and promote bond proposals for the city and school district, applauded voters for their continuing support, even though this proposal was different from any they have seen before.
“In the 30 years I have been involved in this type of activity, the city has focused on smaller bonds to meet infrastructure needs in three- to four-year steps. This time they really thought outside the box to give us a 10-year blueprint for growth,” he said.
Pointing to highly coveted national livability awards presented to Broken Arrow this year by the National Council of Mayors and the Institute for Building Technology and Safety, Peterson pointed out that BA has transformed itself from being a small suburb of Tulsa and voter support cements its position as a “big deal” on a local, statewide and regional basis.
City leaders agreed. “Broken Arrow is fortunate to remain on a growth trajectory in both population and businesses. As the city continues to grow in families and employers, it is critical to have aggressive long-term projects to ensure our infrastructure is able to meet the needs of both,” according to a posting on the bond issue’s website.