SAND SPRINGS — Voters here on Tuesday will decide the fate of a proposed $15.7 million, four-proposition general-obligation bond package that focuses on street improvements, modernized storm sirens, a new animal shelter and dog park, an array of park improvements and a host of community development projects.
The bond package’s total cost would increase the property taxes on a $100,000 home by roughly $3 a month.
“We’ve put forward a package that I think is in the best interest of our city and what people want to see,” City Manager Mike Carter said last week. , but “people need to vote their conscience. It’s not our role to tell people that they should vote for anything.”
City leaders over the past several months have met with civic organizations and community groups, held block parties and used the city’s website and social media platforms to get the word out about the bond proposal.
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“If there’s been a group that wanted us to come talk, then we’ve done that,” Carter said. “What we don’t want is for people to feel like they didn’t know about it.”
Proposition 1 totals $4.3 million and would fund a host of street overlay and maintenance projects throughout the community.
As the animal shelter’s mission has evolved, City Planner Brad Bates said, the current shelter no longer meets its needs.
“The way our shelter currently is run is more of a caring environment,” City Planner Brad Bates said, with more emphasis on homing or rehoming pets brought to the shelter and less focus on euthanasia after a short holding period.
“We don’t do much of that,” he said. “We’re basically, by all premises, a no-kill shelter today.”
Overcrowding at the shelter last week led Animal Welfare officials to sound the alarm that adoptable dogs were in danger of being euthanized for space concerns, but a media blitz led to the adoption of seven dogs the next morning, which relieved the pressure, at least temporarily.
Proposition 3 would total nearly $3.8 million and encompasses roughly a dozen projects under the auspices of parks and recreation.
The largest project dollar-wise is a “near complete rehabilitation” of Page Park at $1.2 million, which would include new playgrounds, fitness equipment, a splash pad, restrooms and a shelter, expanded parking and lighting.
Other features of Proposition 3 are lighting and field surface improvements for Case Community Park, neighborhood trail improvements, adding a roughly 1-acre dog park next to the new animal welfare facility and parking lot improvements at the Canyons at Blackjack Ridge golf course.
Proposition 4 totals $3.7 million and would fund or help fund three major community development projects, including paving work in Case Community Park, a downtown streetscape plan and the design and construction of a community gathering area downtown in coordination with Sand Springs Public Schools.
Carter said the election is not about winning or losing. It’s about doing as little or as much as residents want.
The city’s police chief before he became the city manager last year, he said the approach has its origins in community policing.
“We look at this as a public-private partnership with our citizens, and we collaborate,” he said. “Instead of community policing, this is community governing, and our council very much adheres to that.
“I think that’s how good governing happens.”
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