Stillwater News Press

October 22, 2013

Stillwater public forum to focus on propositions

By Nick Woodruff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The city of Stillwater wants its residents to be well informed of what will be on the Nov. 12 ballot.

Residents will have an opportunity to meet with city administrators and officials about the three propositions on the Nov. 12 ballot at a come-and-go public forum from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Stillwater Community Center, 315 W. Eighth Ave. It is the city’s second public forum focusing on the election.

According to a city of Stillwater press release, residents will be able to meet one-on-one with city administrators about the three propositions.

Proposition one is a $20 million general obligation bond that would fund the creation of a youth sports facility and make Boomer Lake Park improvements. This bond will increase a Stillwater resident’s property tax approximately $54 for every $100,000 of taxable property.

Proposition two is a $7.5 million package for public safety and equipment. This package would help fund a new fire station, which would replace a 1938 fire station at the corner of University Avenue and Knoblock Street.

The package would also purchase approximately 25 new police vehicles and help the city improve its safety communication’s system. This will also be a general obligation bond and will be paid through a 10-year payment program.

Passage of proposition two will increase property taxes approximately $36 for every $100,000 of taxable property.

Proposition three is a transportation package. It’s different than the first two packages because it will be funded through a sales tax increase, which will raise the sales tax from 1/2 cent to one cent.

Proposition three will help fund specific transportation projects and will help all aspects of transportation in Stillwater. Not only will it help road structures, but the city will look to improve pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

As for bonds the city of Stillwater has issued, it issued a general obligation-refunding bond in 2010, which the city plans to have repaid June 1, 2021. A refunding bond is similar to refinancing a loan for better rates.

The Stillwater Utilities Authority has between $29 million and $31.1 million in bonds, according to the 2013 Stillwater Utilities 2013 Annual Report.

The biggest debt the Stillwater Utilities Authority has is a drinking water state revolving fund note through the Oklahoma Water Resource Board at approximately $8.5 million.

The city is hosting this to inform residents, said Stillwater City Manager Dan Galloway in a press release.

“We want residents to have facts, so they can make an informed decision when they vote,” Galloway said. “The propositions concern big issues: transportation needs, public safety issues and quality of life. Citizens have the right to understand what approval of the propositions mean, the financial impact will be and how each proposition affects the community.”