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  • Cathy O'Connor

okc will GO forward in 2017

Is there a street that you would like repaired? Would you vote for improved park amenities or more sidewalks? Now is your opportunity to provide input on the 2017 bond election. The Oklahoma City Council and staff are requesting feedback from residents and neighborhood groups to help the council decide what projects and priorities will be on the ballot on Sept. 12.

The proposed projects would be funded by issuing general obligation bonds, which can only be authorized by voters and paid back by using property taxes.

Bond program projects are for the basic and critical infrastructure every community needs, such as streets, bridges, sidewalks, parks, drainage and more. It is also an economic development tool. The Strategic Investment Program funded by the GO bond in 2007 is a discretionary incentive fund designed to help companies that are looking to expand or locate their operations in Oklahoma City. In return for infrastructure investment from the city, SIP requires that companies create at least 50 full-time jobs with a new total payroll of at least $1.75 million and meet specific average wage requirements. Several recent examples of SIP success include new Oklahoma City locations, such as General Electric and Baker Hughes, and existing companies, like Boeing and Paycom, that operate in Oklahoma City and chose to expand here over another location. That private-sector growth boosts Oklahoma City’s economy.

Investing in our streets, bridges, sidewalks and parks is important to our quality of life and the efficient maintenance of our infrastructure. It is also a sign of an area’s economic viability. Studies show that states that have invested more in infrastructure tend to have greater output, more private investment and more employment growth.

Read the full article in The Journal Record.

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