MCALESTER - McAlester voters are among those headed to the polls May 14 for a special election. Residents will consider a proposition that would add an additional $12 million for street reconstruction projects.
The proposition would allow the city of McAlester to repurpose an existing 1 percent sales tax, without any tax extensions or additional taxes, according to City Manager Pete Stasiak.
Stasiak says currently the base under many McAlester streets has failed, causing the concrete itself to fail. The $12 million would address those issues around the city.
“We have refinanced a few bonds, but there has not been an issuance of a new bond in about 12 years,” Stasiak said.
In November voters approved the refinance of a $26.2 million bond.
“This lowers the interest from 5.7 to 3.8 percent. That saves us about 7.5 million in interest.”
Those savings combined with an anticipated increase of 5 million in revenue would mean approval of the bond would have no negative impact on the city or residents,” Stasiak said.
“There is no sales tax increase. No implication to the public. No costs to the public.”
Passage of the proposition would allow those funds to be available to McAlester now. Stasiak says should the proposal be turned down, the city would have to find alternative resources to quickly address street reconstruction.
“People in McAlester know that the street program is our top priority today. We need to spend the money to correct these problems we are having with the roads; this is the most efficient way to do so.”
The May 14 election has received support from the chamber and the local newspaper, Stasiak said. There is no known organized effort against the proposal.
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