Bartlesville voters voted overwhelmingly to pass all four City proposals in a General Obligation Bond Election that wrapped up Tuesday.
The $16.5 million bond package is focused on street repairs, storm drainage improvements, a new pumper truck for the fire department and multiple parks and recreation projects such as a new fence for Kiddie Park, construction of a green space project in southern downtown and the continued renovation of the Price Fields Complex.
According to unofficial results from the Washington County Election Board, voters approved funding for the projects — which appeared as four separate questions on the ballot — by an overwhelming majority. Results show that 79.5 percent voted in favor of the City Equipment proposal, 66.1 percent for Parks and Recreation, 83.6 percent for Streets and 81.9 percent for Storm Drainage improvements. (The results are considered “unofficial” until verified by the State.)
All four proposals required a simple majority to pass.
“The strong support of voters for the continued improvements put before them in the G.O. bond election is proof of their desire to keep Bartlesville the best small city in America,” Mayor Dale Copeland said early Wednesday. “These many and varied projects will sustain and further enhance the quality of life that is so important to a vibrant community.
“I know I can speak for the City Council and staff to say that we appreciate the voice of decision from all who voted in this election. We will begin immediately to move forward with the promised projects. Great things are still ahead.”
Acting City Manager Mike Bailey also expressed appreciation for the voters, and said that City staff, working in conjunction with the City Council, will begin immediately working to issue the bonds and start construction on the approved projects.
“We appreciate the faith the voters have put in us,” Bailey said. “We will move quickly to issue about $10 million in bonds in the next four months. We owe it to the voters to work as quickly and efficiently as we can.”
G.O. Bond funding is provided via ad valorem (property) tax revenues. Approval of the four proposals will not result in a tax increase due to other bonds that are expiring, which will keep the mil levy at approximately 15.