Do your part to help Stillwater identify priorities for critical infrastructure projects that could be funded by a general obligation (GO) bond. Your input will help Stillwater City Council make informed decisions about what could be on the ballot in 2018.
Earlier this year, city staff presented a list of projects to City Council as part of the budget process — which ranged from city facilities to transportation needs to quality of life enhancements to public safety needs — that could be funded by a GO bond. This list totaled $83.5 million.
“We know that it is not possible to fund all of these projects with bonds. However, before we move forward with a bond election, we need feedback from the community. We want to know which improvements you think should be funded,” City Manager Norman McNickle said.
The City recently prioritized its initial list and is seeking input on the following projects: 1) Relocate Fire Station 2 (Knoblock & University) to a different location to provide better service delivery; 2) Replace the Animal Welfare/Humane Society building; 3) Transportation improvements (streets, traffic control, bridges, sidewalks, trails, etc.); 4) Stormwater/drainage improvements.
Beginning now until the end of November, city staff will be gathering community input and providing information about how bond projects are financed and the effect this may have on property taxes.
“We also want residents to share their thoughts about how large of a bond they can support,” McNickle said. “This is one of the few ways we can fund large municipal capital projects.”
Oklahoma is the only state where municipalities rely primarily on sales tax collections to fund city government operations. This includes most of the services residents expect and depend upon — police, fire, roads, bridges and more.
Residents can go to http://stillwater.org/GObond and learn more about the 2018 GO bond election, sign up for updates and take a short survey.
The City of Stillwater staff will also attend various public events during the next few months and are available to speak at meetings hosted by community groups or organizations. Staff will be in the lobby of the Municipal Building on the first and fifteenth of the month to meet with residents.
All data will be compiled and forwarded to City Council who authorize all expenditures and projects.
The last time Stillwater approved a City of Stillwater bond was in 2000. This 20-year bond funded the construction of the police side of the Municipal Building at 723 S. Lewis St.