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Ponca City voters to decide police station funding June 11

Ponca City Now - April 9, 2019 2:17 pm

Ponca City voters will go to the polls on June 11 to vote on the question of approving or rejecting an ordinance which would add a 0.833 percent excise tax, which is a sales and use tax, to Ponca City’s current taxes.

The increase would fund public safety capital expenditures, including a new police station. A portion of the tax would terminate on Sept. 30, 2028, but another portion will have no stated termination date and will be used to maintain the new facility.

Of the 0.833 percent excise tax, 0.500 percent will terminate Sept. 30, 2028, while there is no termination date stated for the 0.333 percent for maintaining the facility.

City Manager Craig Stephenson said  that in a study of  the current Public Safety Center, a decision was made to separate the prosecutorial function (police station) from the judicial function (municipal court). The current center will be used for the municipal court function.

The cost of the new police station is estimated at $20 million and  the building is designed  to operate for 40 to 50 years.

The current Public Safety Center was built in 1975-76. The new police station would be built in the block between Third Street and Fourth Street, immediately east of the current Public Safety Center.

In September 2020, the tax that was approved for the  construction of the RecPlex (former YMCA building) will end after being on the books for 13 years. The ordinance calling for the June election would extend that amount of tax for 33 months and shaves five years off the time it would otherwise take to fund construction for the new police station.

City Commissioners unanimously approved the proposed tax increase ordinance and the election date at Monday night’s commission meeting. 

 

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