By Jon Watje
The City of Mustang is planning to meet with several organizations the next two months to inform them about the upcoming one-cent sales tax election on Aug. 23.
At a City Council workshop meeting on Monday evening, City Manager Tim Rooney showed the council the presentation that would be shown to organizations in the coming weeks.
“In 1996, voters approved a five-year, one-cent sales tax and it allowed for a one-cent excise tax to be levied to provide revenue to enlarge, extend and improve the street systems in the city,” Rooney said. “The ordinance was approved June 20, 1996 and was set to expire September 30, 2001.”
In 1999, voters approved a 28-year extension of the same one-cent sales tax.
“Ordinance 710 allowed for a one-cent excise tax to be levied to provide funds for constructing and equipping a community center facility, a public library, a sports complex, a new municipal police facility and an aquatics center,” Rooney said. “The ordinance was approved in May of 1999 and was set to expire July 31, 2030 or whenever it was paid off, whichever occurred first.”
With the tax, the city was able to build Town Center, a sports complex, a police station and an aquatics center.
Now, the city is expecting to pay off the debt by June of 2017, 13 years ahead of schedule, leaving the question whether voters want to extend the tax until 2030 or have it end next year.
On June 7, 2016 the City Council approved Ordinance 1139, which if approved by voters, would continue the one-percent excise sales tax through July of 2013 for the purpose of public safety and capital improvements.
“The continuation of the sales tax would address needs in four vital areas: public safety, streets, infrastructure and quality of life,” Rooney said.
Public safety items that would be addressed is the building of an emergency operations center, fire substation, software upgrades and dispatch systems and public safety vehicles and equipment.
Street projects that would be addressed include the widening of Sara Road, the widening of SW 89th Street and neighborhood street overlay.
The sales tax would also address the city’s waste water treatment plant and recreational facilities such as a new inclusive playground and splash pad, Town Center expansion, animal shelter renovation, soccer field lighting and a market place.
Rooney said he was planning on giving a presentation on the upcoming sales tax election to the Mustang Chamber of Commerce at their July 28 meeting at Town Center. He said that was the first time the presentation would be made public, but Mayor Jay Adams asked if it could be made public earlier.
“I think the sooner we get this out to the public and on our website the better,” Adams said. “I think a lot of people were questioning what the money would go towards to if this was approved and now we can clearly show them that.”
In-person absentee voting for the Aug. 23 election starts Thursday, Aug. 18 until Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Canadian County Election Board.