Bond issues, proposition in Broken Arrow, Coweta and Tulsa approved by wide margins


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Voters overwhelmingly approved proposals Tuesday in Broken Arrow, Tulsa and Coweta that are focused on sweeping improvements to school buildings and facilities, and accelerating economic development.

In Broken Arrow, a 25-year franchise agreement between the city of Broken Arrow and Public Service Company of Oklahoma was approved easily, with 68% voting for the measure and 32% against.

The agreement includes a 2% franchise fee that generates about $2.4 million a year used for public safety, fire, EMS, parks, tourism programs and other needs.

The pact also includes a new 1% fee to be used for road widening and restructuring and relocating utilities and to provide funds to help qualified manufacturers or businesses in Broken Arrow, or to offer incentives to outside businesses to locate in the city.

Based on current collections, the 1% fee is expected to generate approximately $1 million annually. The average residential home uses 1,100 kWh per month. Based on the average usage, the economic development fee would result in an additional $1.25 per month for a customer.

Voters in Tulsa and a portion of Broken Arrow in the Union Public Schools easily passed a $152 million, 5-year bond issue, with 78% voting yes and 22% voting no.

A reconfiguration of the 6th/8th Grade Center is one of the major projects, which is proposed to help ease students’ transition from elementary into the secondary environment.

Other key projects include ongoing investments in technology, safety and security, as well as upgrades to Athletics and Fine Arts facilities to include the UMAC, the Performing Arts Center and turf and courts for soccer, tennis, golf, indoor baseball and softball.

The district says there's also a "significant need" for roof and HVAC systems, interior and exterior building renovations, as well as textbooks, digital curriculum, instructional resources and transportation.

In Coweta, a $50 million bond issue aimed at school building improvements -- the largest in the city’s history -- was approved convincingly, with 85% voting for the measure. Coweta Public Schools plans to revamp school entrances in three buildings to create a single point of entry to improve security and safety.

Administrators also want to make the district more ready for severe weather through building storm shelters inside gymnasiums at Mission Intermediate Grade Center, Daniel P. Sloat Junior High and Northwest Elementary Schools. Mission was hit by an EF-1 tornado in 2021.

Additional classrooms will be added at sites to address growth.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified