Harrison said the “heretofore approved” phrase refers to Proposition 1 passed by McAlester voters last November. That phrase authorized the city to incur indebtedness to “all for the purpose of achieving debt service savings ... not to exceed $13,800,000 to be used to fund street improvements as well as related infrastructure improvements within the project areas ...” according to the ballot language. Harrison maintained Wednesday that covered the street improvement issue.
“That’s all the voters have ‘heretofore” approved for debt,” Harrison said — referring to the “heretofore” phrase in the ballot language approved Tuesday night. “We can’t do anything other than fix the streets.”
Harrison said there’s a reason the ballots were written they way they were. Since the tax is set to run for 18 years, assume that in 10 years the city is in a position to borrow some more money under that particular bond issue, he said.
Speaking of future city leaders, Harrison said “They would only have to go to the voters and borrow some more without having to re-purpose the sales tax.”
He said voter approval would still be required. Harrison was asked why the council didn’t include a reference to street improvements on the ballot voters will see in May — even if it wasn’t legally required? Harrison said there was no need.
You don’t ask the voters to approve the same thing twice, he said.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.
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