Capital Election 2023: FAQ, Projects

August 29, 2023

Bartlesville voters will be asked to consider funding for several capital projects – including $12.2 million for street improvements – in a General Obligation Bond election set for Oct. 10.

Projects identified for funding are:

  • Portions of the following streets:
    • Adams Boulevard
    • Silver Lake Road
    • Jefferson Road
    • Lupa
    • Rockdale
    • Cherokee
    • Lahoma
    • Michigan
    • Southview
    • Swan Drive
    • Avondale
    • Park Hill streets
    • Spruce
    • Greystone
    • Rice Creek road
    • Valley and Denver
    • Georgetown
  • A new fire station No. 2 at Hensley Boulevard and Virginia Avenue
  • Improvements to Pathfinder Parkway
  • Security lighting in City-owned parks
  • Wayfinding signs
  • Douglass Park playground shade structure
  • Hudson Lake restrooms
  • Jo Allyn Lowe drainage improvements and trail lights
  • Adams Golf Course greens rebuild
  • Upgrade to the City’s core servers and UPS replacement

To see a full list of the projects, see below.

No tax increase

GO bond funding is one of the few options municipalities in Oklahoma have for funding capital projects. The City typically holds G.O. bond elections every three to five years.

“This funding enables us to fund the projects that citizens expect us to do,” said City Manager Mike Bailey. “It pays for street projects, public safety vehicles and equipment, park projects, improvements to our facilities and upgrades to the software and other tools we need to provide services to our residents and the people who visit our great city.”

Funding for G.O. Bonds is provided through the ad valorem (property) tax, which is capped at 15 mils to ensure there is no tax increase for Bartlesville residents.

“The City’s mil levy will remain at 15 as existing bonds expire, so there is no tax increase associated with the G.O. Bond proposal,” Bailey said.

If approved by voters, the $17.6 million bond issue will include funding for the projects over a four-year period.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Obligation Bond 2023

What is this, when is it and who can vote?

The City will hold its General Obligation Bond Election, commonly referred to “G.O. bond issue,” on Oct. 10, 2023. Registered voters who are eligible and who reside within the city limits of Bartlesville will be able to vote in this election. Please remember to bring identification such as a driver’s license or voter ID card.

When can I vote?

Early voting is available at the Washington County Election Board. The Election Board is located on the fourth floor of City Hall, which is located at 401 S. Johnstone Ave. Here is the early voting schedule:

  • Thursday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Regular voting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 10 – from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. – at your local polling place. Absentee voting is available. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Monday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by mail at the county election board on or before 7 p.m. on election day (Tuesday, Oct. 10).

For more information, please call the Washington County Election Board at 918.337.2850 or go online to the Oklahoma State Election board website. On the Oklahoma State Election board website, you can use the “OK Voter Portal” to confirm your voter registration, view sample ballots, find your polling place, request an absentee ballot, change your address or party affiliation and more.

Will approval of this bond issue increase my taxes?

No. Approval of these projects will not result in an increase in taxes. G.O. bonds are funded through ad valorem, or property taxes, which are paid by Bartlesville property owners. The City’s mil levy would remain at 15 with approval of the bond Issue, which would have no impact on ad valorem taxes.

How much will this cost?

Voters will consider projects proposed for G.O. Bond funding in four categories: Public Safety Buildings and Equipment, Municipal Buildings and Equipment, Streets and Bridges, and Parks and Recreation. G.O. Bond projects total $17.6 million, which includes the “cost to issue” the bonds (COI), and will be issued over a period of four years.

How are the projects decided?

At any given time, the City of Bartlesville has a working list of capital needs that total more than $100 million. City staff and citizen committees narrow the list and then the City Council is tasked with determining the bond amount and deciding which projects will be put before voters in an election. This process was recently completed, and now it’s time for the voters to decide.

How much are these projects by category?

The funding is broken into four categories, which voters will see as separate ballot proposals:

Proposition 1: Public safety buildings and equipment — $2,412,000

Proposition 2: Municipal buildings and equipment — $696,000

Proposition 3: Streets and bridges — $12,278,000

Proposition 4: Parks and recreation — $2,214,000

What are “70 percent” and “30 percent” projects?

Oklahoma law requires that 70 percent of the projects in each category be specified in the ordinance calling for a G.O. bond election. The law also requires that these projects be completed with the bond funds. The remaining 30 percent are “discretionary” and do not have to be specified in the ordinance, nor is completion required. However, the City of Bartlesville has completed all projects identified as “30 percent projects” in the past and identifies them for voters.

We just went through a drought. Why are there no projects addressing this issue?

The Water Resources Committee is in the process of evaluating the recent drought and the Water Shortage Ordinance, which is essentially the plan that was implemented in an effort to preserve water supply until a major rain event or until other provisions can be made. Significant rainfall in July filled Hulah Lake, removing the need for immediate action; however, City officials continue to pursue water options for Bartlesville for the future. The committee will study this issue and make recommendations to the City Council regarding future options, at which time decisions regarding expenditures and funding will be determined. It is likely the City will utilize low interest loans, to be repaid with Water Capital Fees, to meet the infrastructure needs required at that time.

General Obligation Bond Issue

Project cost total – $17,254,000

Cost of Issuance – $346,000

Total Estimated Cost – $17,600,000 

Duration – Four years

The Projects

Proposition 1: Public Safety

70 percent projects

New Fire Station No. 2 — $2,412,000

Replacement of Fire Station No. 2. Located at 100 S. Virginia Ave, the existing station was built 49 years ago and needs to be replaced. The new station would be constructed in close proximity to the existing station so relocation or closure would not be necessary.

Public Safety Total: $2,412,000

Proposition 2: Municipal Facilities

70 percent projects

Core Server Upgrade (5) — $643,000

The City currently has nine core servers that host all major software systems the City uses.  The existing servers are end of life and need to be replaced to keep operations functional.  The project includes five years of warranty and Core and Windows licenses.

Core Server UPS Replacement (3) — $53,000

There are three main battery backup units (UPS) that provide power to the City’s core servers during power outages.  These units are reaching end of life and need to be replaced to maintain continuity of services during power outages.

Municipal Facilities Total: $696,000 (70 percent – $696,000)

Proposition 3: Streets

70 percent projects

Adams Boulevard mill and overlay — $1,428,000

Mill and overlay on Adams Boulevard from Adams Road to Bison Road.

Lupa Street mill and overlay — $1,204,000

Mill and overlay on Lupa from Sunset Boulevard to Seminole Street. Includes Margarite, Adeline, Bucy, Rogers, Kaw, Seminole, Theodore, Cudahy, Morton, and Sunset.

Rockdale Street concrete panel replacement — $979,000

Concrete panel replacement on Rockdale from Woodland to Brookside Parkway. Includes Ridgewood from Rockdale to Woodland and Dogwood Court.

Cherokee Avenue mill and overlay — $842,000

Mill and overlay on Cherokee from Hensley Boulevard to 14th Street.

Lahoma Street concrete panel replacement — $714,000

Concrete panel replacement on Lahoma from Spring Street to Palmetto.

Michigan Avenue asphalt rebuild — $561,000

Asphalt rebuild of a section of concrete roadway on Michigan Avenue from Queenstown Avenue to Elmhurst Avenue.

Southview Drive mill and overlay — $541,000

Mill and overlay on Southview Drive from 18th Street to 23rd Street. Includes 18th Street from Hillcrest to Crestview and 23rd Street from Southview to County Road 3496.

Swan Drive mill and overlay — $510,000

Mill and overlay on Swan Drive from Nowata Road to Rolling Meadows. Includes Harned Avenue from Nowata Road to Bridle Avenue.

Avondale Avenue mill and overlay — $510,000

Mill and overlay on Avondale Avenue from Tuxedo Boulevard to Ohio Street. Includes Michigan from Washington to Queenstown and Indiana from Washington to Avondale.

Spruce Avenue mill and overlay — $419,000

Mill and overlay of Spruce Avenue from Tuxedo Boulevard to Melody Lane. Includes portions of Fleetwood Drive, Carole Court, Sunview Place, Barbara Avenue, and Kentucky Avenue.

Greystone Avenue concrete panel — $306,000

Concrete panel on Greystone Avenue from Adams Boulevard to Rolling Meadows.

Rice Creek Road mill and overlay — $255,000

Mill and overlay on Rice Creek Road from Silver Lake Road to one-half mile east.

Valley Road and Denver Road mill and overlay — $225,000

Mill and overlay on Valley Road and Denver Road from Shawnee Avenue to Hillcrest Drive.

Georgetown Avenue mill and overlay — $128,000

Mill and overlay on Georgetown Avenue from Silver Lake Road to Cambridge Court.

30 percent projects

Morton Avenue mill and overlay — $765,000

Mill and overlay on Morton Avenue from Eighth Street to Hensley Boulevard. Includes portions of Fourth Street, Fifth Street, Adeline Street, and Sunset Boulevard.

Harvey mill and overlay — $740,000

Mill and overlay on Harvey Street from Jefferson Place to Barnett Drive. Includes portions of Henrietta Drive, Gary Drive, Barnett Drive, Velma Drive, and Dana Drive.

Sheridan mill and overlay — $734,000

Mill and overlay on Sheridan Road between Mission Road and Nowata Road. Includes portions of Smysor Street, Vista Drive, Mission Road, Redbud Lane, Cherokee Hills Drive, Cherokee Hills Place, and Cherokee Hills Circle.

Park Hill streets mill and overlay — $505,000

Mill and overlay on Steeper Drive, Park Hill Place, Park Hill Lane, Park Hill Loop, Chickering Court, and Park Hill Court.

Jefferson Road mill and overlay — $453,000

Mill and overlay on Jefferson Road between Lincoln Road and Nowata Road. Includes portions of McKinley Road, Lincoln Road, Wilson Road, Lincoln Place, and Church Court.

Silver Lake Road mill and overlay — $459,000

Mill and overlay on Silver Lake Road from Rice Creek Road to Price Road.

Streets total: $12,278,000 (70 percent projects – $8,622,000)

Proposition 4: Parks and Recreation

70 percent projects

Adams Golf Course Greens Rebuild – Phase 2 — $1,224,000

Continuation of rebuilding the greens at Adams Golf Course. The first nine holes were rebuilt utilizing funds approved by voters in the 2020 G.O. Bond election. This funding would complete the project, rebuilding the remaining nine holes, putting green, chipping green, and nursery green.

Pathfinder Parkway Repaving — $255,000

Pathfinder Parkway is the City-owned trail system that winds primarily along the Caney River and other portions of the city, connecting to all the major City-owned parks. Repaving is done in portions of the 12-mile path a continuous basis to keep the trails safe for users.

Douglass Park Playground Shade Structure — $72,000

Located at 509 S.W. Bucy Ave., Douglass Park is located adjacent to the West Side Community Center. The Park Board has prioritized installation of a shade structure over the existing playground equipment. The structure will be similar to the structure at Civitan Park along Silver Lake Road.

30 percent projects

Security Lighting in Parks — $153,000

Specific locations and configurations have not been identified at this time, but the Park Board has requested adding lighting, where feasible, in the City’s parks. The intent with this project will be to identify areas within parks that could use lighting to provide a more secure feeling while using the parks in low light conditions.

Hudson Lake Restrooms — $133,000

The Park Board has requested construction of restrooms at Hudson Lake. The City-owned lake is seeing more use now that a mountain bike club has been constructing trails along the east side of the lake. The new restrooms will generally be located on the east side of the lake near the entrance to the archery range.

Jo Allyn Lowe Park Drainage Improvements — $122,000

Due to the presence of multiple drainage paths and high densities of waterfowl, in addition to an abundance of shade at Jo Allyn Lowe Park, there are multiple areas that require some attention to alleviate erosion. This project will identify and address the areas of concern in an effort to beautify the park while controlling erosion.

Panther Park Equipment Replacement — $102,000

The playground equipment at Panther Park, which is located in Oak Park near the old Oak Park Elementary School, is some of the older equipment in the City’s inventory.  The equipment is beyond the service life and in need of replacement. New equipment would be similar to what has been recently installed at Robinwood Park and Douglass Park.

Wayfinding Signs — $102,000

Continuation of the Wayfinding Signs project approved by voters in the 2018 G.O. Bond Election. Phase 1 of the project included placement of new signs in the city’s major parks and Pathfinder Parkway trail heads. Signs will also be placed in the downtown area. This funding will address another phase of the project and include signs that were unfunded as part of Phase 1.

Jo Allyn Lowe Park Trail Lights — $51,000

The Pathfinder trails that encompass Jo Allyn Lowe Park are heavily used. This project will be similar to what was done at Lee Lake. The intent is to install solar powered lights along the trails at Jo Allyn Lowe Park. The final layout is not determined, but the area around the prairie section of the park is the primary focus and then other locations that receive enough sunlight to facilitate solar lights will be evaluated.

Parks and Recreation Total: $2,214,000 (70 percent – $1,551,000)

To view details of projects to be completed using bond proceeds dating back to 2005, see Bond Transparency Act of 2017 – Notice (Bartlesville 10-10-2023 election).

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