McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 26, 2013

Two elections pending for city of McAlester


Senior Editor

McALESTER — Two elections are coming up for the city of McAlester — and so far, both are the only ones on the ballot.

The first one, set for May 14, will once again ask city voters to either accept or reject a “change of purpose” of an existing 1 percent sales tax.

City Manager Pete Stasiak and Mayor Steve Harrison maintain that passing the measure will result in making money available for road projects.

The deadline has already passed for placing any more items on the May 14 ballot, Assistant Pittsburg County Election Board Secretary Tonya Barnes said Thursday. McAlester’s election is the only item on the May 14 ballot, she said.

  Following the May election, the city is holding another election in August. The newest one going on the books is one for Aug. 13. City councilors passed a resolution Tuesday night calling for a franchise election Aug., 13. for CenterPoint Energy Resources.

CenterPoint Energy Resources, doing business as CenterPoint Energy Oklahoma Gas,  provides natural gas to customers in the city of McAlester.

Barnes said early Thursday the election board had not yet received the resolution from the city of McAlester asking for the Aug., 13 election date and has also received no other resolutions from other entities asking for an election on that day.

However, since the deadline for submitting a resolution for an Aug. 13 election is June 13  — two months before the election date — it’s possible another entity such as a municipality or school district in the county could join the city of McAlester on the August ballot.

In the August election, McAlester voters will decide whether to grant CenterPoint a 25-year non-exclusive franchise,  according to a resolution authorized by the city council on Tuesday night.

Approval of the  CenterPoint’s current franchise grants  the company the right to “enter the public ways to install, operate and maintain a distribution system along, across , over and under the public ways for the  transportation, distribution and sale of gas to consumers and the public generally in the city of  McAlester.”

It also allows “providing for use and repair of the public ways; providing for regulation of service; establishing depth of pipelines; establishing rights and duties in the movement and alteration of pipelines.”

The measure also requires the company to pay the city a franchise fee of 2 percent of the gross sales.

Voters will have an option of voting “yes” or “no” on the proposition.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

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