On the retail end of the TIF, Legacy Park construction should be complete by August, and the developer is obligated to bring 250,000 square feet of business to the Lifestyle Center by 2018. The frontage road extension to 24th Avenue is ready to be bid in January, Bryant said.
In other city business, council members continued discussions of the upcoming vote to renew the Public Safety Sales Tax that currently funds 71 police and fire jobs. The half-percent dedicated sales tax will expire in September 2015 unless it is renewed. The council will bring the tax to a vote for renewal.
Under discussion is whether to renew the tax for seven years, 10 years or possibly make it permanent. Also under discussion are the public safety needs above and beyond maintaining those 71 jobs.
The public safety wish list presented by Norman’s police and fire officials includes 12 school resource officers, which would be a shared wage cost with Norman Public Schools. Those officers also would need vehicles.
Deputy Police Chief Jim Maisano said a request for an additional 10 police officers for regular city duty is based on projected population growth and call volume. More cars also would be needed for master police officers.
The list of capital improvements on the public safety wish list totals $35.4 million, and only a portion of that would be covered by the sales tax. Council members discussed the possibility of general obligation bonds and revenue bonds to generate the additional funds needed.
Mayor Cindy Rosenthal proposed a public meeting to garner input from residents on priorities and other concerns.
The city council will need to finalize the ballot language and approve the resolution for a vote by the end of January.
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