The additional equipment and relocation of Fire Station No. 5 should result in a better ISO number for Norman residents, resulting in lower property taxes and better response times.
During the public comment and question portion of the public meeting, Little Axe Elementary Principal Sandra Staton said Little Axe residents pay city of Norman taxes and the school would like to have a full-time school resource police officer.
Humphrey said he has been in discussion with the Little Axe superintendent. Whether an officer could be provided through the current proposal for the PSST renewal would depend on a number of factors yet to be determined.
Many residents expressed support for making the PSST permanent, rather than a 10-year renewal. Among the supporters for a permanent tax were a representative from the firefighters union and Sean Rieger, speaking on behalf of the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma.
The debate continued on whether the tax renewal vote should move forward in April or wait until August. Council member Robert Castleberry said he wants more time to hammer out the details of the PSST renewal.
“What’s so magical about April that our police and fire being properly funded can’t wait?” Castleberry said.
Norman Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Andy Sherrer said the city council should move forward with an April vote if they can answer the questions raised at the public meeting and agree on the terms that are best for Norman in time to move forward. Otherwise, the council should hammer out a clear plan and wait until August.
“I think it is imperative that we continue to support public safety in our community,” Sherrer said.
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