The Moore American


November 6, 2012

Two parks initiatives lead in early returns

NORMAN — After months of planning and a series of public meetings spanning Oct. 22-25, Moore voters cast their ballots on two quality of life measures.

The measures were moving toward approval in preliminary returns Tuesday night.

City Manager Stephen Eddy said the two initiatives could be quality of life “game changers.”

The first proposition before Moore voters would authorize $25.1 million in general obligation bonds to fund a major destination park if approved.

This park would be home to a new aquatic facility, a new community/recreation center, a farmer’s market/ multi-purpose building, an outdoor amphitheater/stage, and a 2-mile multi-purpose trail in central Moore.

“Earlier this year, the council decided we wanted to take a look at the overall parks system so we did the parks master plan,” Eddy said.

That master plan made recommendations including  upgrading Moore’s current parks, but it didn’t stop there.

“It also made a recommendation about this big new park,” Eddy said. “Now is the time to put this forward. We had quite a lot of public input as to what people want to see in their existing parks.”

With the pool closed, a new, state of the art aquatic center is badly needed. So are the other amenities included in the proposed general obligation bond.

“The farmers market building was high on the list of things people said they want to see in Moore,” Eddy said. “The interest rates now are very low, so we think we would get some good interest rates. The bonds will be issued over time.”

The first bond would be  issued in early 2013 if voters approve the measure.

The impact on property tax, if approved, for a Moore home with an assessed value of $100,000, would be about $4 per month.

“We’re very excited about it,” Eddy said. “We believe if it’s approved by voters it will be a game changer for us, particularly in quality of life.”

The second proposition would establish a quarter of a penny, temporary sales tax that would run from April 1, 2013 to March 30, 2017. That temporary sales tax would be designated for improvements to existing parks.

“We’re going to be having some public meetings out in the community where people can come ask questions,” Eddy said.

All of the upcoming public meetings will be at 7 p.m. They will be held at area elementary schools to allow for the greatest access to various neighborhoods throughout Moore.

The Oct. 22 meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Oakridge Elementary, 3201 S. Santa Fe. On Oct. 23 the 7 p.m. meeting will be at Kelley Elementary, 1900 N. Janeway. Winding Creek Elementary, 1401 NE 12th, will be the site for the Oct. 24 meeting, and Heritage Trails Elementary, 1801 S. Bryant, will host the Oct. 25 public meeting.

 If approved, the projects will make major upgrades and improvements to existing parks, build a wall of honor to recognize veterans, create gathering spots for families to enjoy time together, offer new health and wellness opportunities for Moore residents and create a positive economic impact from special events and new destination facilities, according to the Master Parks plan and city staff notes.

A series of public meetings, focus groups, citizen interviews and an extensive citizen survey, conducted in the Fall of 2011, produced a priority list from Moore residents. According to the input the top four priorities of Moore residents are:

• improvements/ en-hancements to existing parks

• a new aquatic facility

• a new community/ recreation center

• walking trails/sidewalks.

The Moore City Council considered the extensive input from residents and developed the two proposed park improvement propositions.

The city council voted unanimously to place these propositions on the ballot.

The temporary quarter cent sales tax would cost shoppers an additional 25 cents for every $100 purchased. The advantage of sales tax is that shoppers from outside of Moore help contribute to the economic impact.

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