Buy a $4 cheeseburger in Edmond in 2022 and it will cost you $0.01 more. Why? Tonight, Edmond voters approved a 12-month 0.25-cent sales tax increase to fund the purchase of 22 acres of land abutting E.C. Hafer Park.
More than 81 percent of Edmond voters favored the temporary sales tax proposal, with 10,067 total residents participating in Tuesday’s election. All results are unofficial until certification by the Oklahoma State Election Board.
The ballot question’s approval will take Edmond’s sales tax rate from 8.25 percent to 8.5 percent from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022.
While the one-year sales tax increase is expected to generate about $5 million, the city’s purchase price for the 22-acre property is expected to be about $4 million, with the additional revenue dedicated to potential cleanup of the site and other support for Edmond’s park system.
Had voters rejected the sales tax increase, a development company would have attempted to move forward with a 276-unit mixed use development on the property.
Located near the northeast corner of East 15th Street and North Bryant Avenue, the parcel of property has been controversial in Edmond for years, most recently in 2017, when voters rejected a zoning change and functionally killed a development project on the site. A decade earlier, voters also made developing that property more difficult by approving new zoning requirements.
Proponents of the Oct. 12 sales-tax ballot initiative argued that acquiring the 22 acres was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Edmond voters. Residents of the area also expressed concern about increased traffic and density in the central Edmond area.
The purchase contract between SCV Development and the City of Edmond can be viewed here.
Bryan County sales tax
In southeast Oklahoma, residents of Bryan County rejected a proposal to pay more for purchases. The temporary 0.25-cent sales and use tax hikes would have funded road and bridge projects across the county’s three commissioner districts. Durant is the county seat.
With 1,510 Bryan County residents voting, 62.8 percent opposed the tax proposal.
City of Noble approves bond for public safety
Voters in Noble, just south of Norman, approved a $2.5 million bond proposition for construction of a new fire station, construction of a new dispatch office and renovation of the police department.
With 295 ballots cast, more than 81 percent of Noble voters supported the proposal.
School districts approve bonds
Bond proposals for construction and infrastructure projects saw mixed results at school districts around Oklahoma. Broken Bow, Calvin, Ponca City, Timberlake, Tuttle and Washington districts approved their measures.
Voters in Banner, Guymon, Moss, Sallisaw and Strother districts rejected their bond proposals.
State law requires school district bond proposals to receive at least 60 percent support.
Voters in Canadian County rejected a $6.2 million bond proposition for Banner Public School, a pre-K through 8th grade district located in El Reno. The bond proceeds would have been earmarked for the construction of a new building to include classrooms, bathrooms, office space and a storm shelter.
With 118 people casting ballots, 55 percent of Banner voters opposed the proposal.
Broken Bow Public Schools voters approved a $9.9 million bond proposition Tuesday night. The funds will go toward a multi-purpose vocational agriculture and carpentry building, as well as improvements to the district’s middle school and two elementary schools.
With 411 people casting ballots, 82.7 percent of Broken Bow voters supported the proposal.
Located in Hughes County, Calvin Public Schools saw voters pass a $1.8 million bond proposition to construct, furnish and equip a new cafeteria. Of 123 votes cast, 78 percent were submitted in favor.
A $75.9 million bond proposition for Guymon Public Schools failed Tuesday evening. The project would have funded improvements to one of the district’s six elementary schools as well as improvements to the middle school and high school. The bond funds wound have also been used on technology and to provide equipment and facilities for the agriculture, band and athletic programs.
More than 58 percent of Guymon voters rejected the proposal.
Voters in Moss Public Schools barely failed to pass a $1.4 million bond proposition to provide site improvements at the elementary school, roof repairs at the high school, renovations and repairs to the agriculture building as needed and repairs to the baseball fields, softball fields and bus barn.
With 95 people voting, 56.8 percent voted in favor, slightly short of the 60 percent threshold.
Voters in Kay County approved a $49.7 million bond issue for Ponca City Public Schools that will be used to construct a state-of-the-art STEM space and a multi-purpose indoor athletic space. The bond proceeds will also fund upgrades to the baseball complex and softball field as well as other district-wide improvements.
With more than 1,800 voters casting ballots, the Ponca City Public Schools proposal received more than 80 percent support.
A $3.5 million bond issue for Sallisaw Public Schools, located in Sequoyah County, fell short Tuesday night. The funds were slated to construct safe rooms at Liberty and Eastside Elementary as well as the middle and high schools.
With 1,397 Sallisaw voters casting ballots, the proposal received only 48 percent support.
Voters in Seminole County roundly rejected a $9.7 million bond issue for Strother Public Schools to construct a multi-purpose event center. Ballots were cast by 328 people, with 78 percent submitted in opposition.
Two bond propositions for Timberlake Public Schools, located in Alfalfa County, passed Tuesday. The first proposition will provide about $3.58 million for roofing, HVAC and other repairs throughout the district. The second proposition will provide $325,000 for district transportation.
Voters approved a $4.7 million supplemental bond issue for Tuttle Public Schools that will go toward athletic programs in the district as well as a new agriculture barn. With 588 residents voting, 67 percent supported the proposal.
Washington Public Schools voters approved a $24.5 million bond project for constructing, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment and acquiring and improving school sites.
(Update: This article was updated at 8:45 p.m. to include additional election results.)