GO Bond Vote Set for TomorrowNov 08, 2021
Residential streets have taken a beating over the past year, not just from the normal wear and tear of traffic. City leaders say that the extended stretch of brutal winter weather followed by an unusually rainy spring has accelerated the need for routine maintenance on many residential streets. For that reason, they are asking voters to approve an $8.6 million general obligation bond to help meet the needs for reconstruction and repair. The vote will take place on November 9th, 2021.
"We've got seven residential streets that need to be reconstructed in three of our wards," said City Manager Brooks Mitchell, "And then we also have three design projects, one for South Broadway, one for Telephone Road, and one for the Eastern and Broadway intersection."
Mitchell says that typically funds for those projects would come from the City's half-cent sales tax. But the unusual weather in the winter and spring, followed by a generally hot summer, has left the City in a critical situation for residential street repairs. Assistant City Manager Jerry Ihler notes that the passing of this GO bond would enable the City to accomplish a lot of good in a short amount of time.
"When you look at the age and conditions of those streets, they already present a significant problem even without our bad weather in 2021," said Ihler. "To go ahead and replace them under the existing half-cent sales tax, it might take us three years to be able to accomplish this. This GO bond would allow us to go ahead and begin construction in 2022."
Both Mitchell and Ihler say that approval of this proposition, which will appear on the November 9th ballot as "Proposition 1 – Road Improvement Projects", asks voters to approve $8 640,000 for seven critical projects in all three of the City's wards. For more details on those projects, you can visit cityofmoore.com/election2021.
Mitchell notes that it's essential for voters to understand that approving these projects should not impact the millage rate residents see on the City of Moore's portion of their property tax.
"Going back to the approval of our GO bond issues in 2018, we've promised the voters that we would not let our millage rate go above 16-and-a-half mills," said Mitchell. "We will continue to issue these bonds in increments to prevent residents from seeing an increase in their millage rates."
Also on the ballot for November 9th is "Proposition 2 – Animal Shelter Project." This GO Bond is for $8,210,000 to build a new animal shelter located on the southwest corner of I-35 and 34th Street. John Freyrear, Animal Control Supervisor for the City of Moore, said the current shelter is woefully outdated and breaking down from heavy overuse.
"This facility has aged quite a bit faster than it normally should have," said Freyrear. "It just couldn't handle the way the population has boomed here in the city of Moore."
The shelter was built more than 20-years ago, and since then, Moore's population has exploded by around 60%. That increase has been accompanied by a rise in pets and strays in need of care.
"Right now, we can house only 29 dogs and nine cats," said Freyrear. "On most days, we're busting at the seams trying to take care of an overload of animals."
In addition to the lack of space, Freyrear says the aging facility is just wearing out.
"We use so much water in the care of these animals that rust is breaking down everything," said Freyrear. "There's also the continuing challenge of mold in the walls and general wear and tear from all the traffic through the building."
Mitchell says the new shelter will not only be an upgrade, but it will also set the animal control department up nicely for the City's future growth.
"The current shelter was fine when it was first constructed," said Mitchell. "This modern facility will serve the public well for the next 30-to-40 years, and it will also feature some much-needed upgrades to the layout."
Those upgrades include separate areas for animal intake and the public. The shelter will have a dedicated space for the reception and medical care of animals brought to the shelter that is separate from the area where the public can play with the animals they're considering adopting. That also means more room for staff and volunteers to work.
"We want to be able to serve the citizens of Moore and their pets," said Freyrear, "This new shelter would allow us to do that now and for years to come."