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Opinion

November 9, 2012

Norman taking note of Moore parks vote

NORMAN — More than a few Norman residents had their eye on the city of Moore’s parks ballot questions Tuesday night. Moore voters were asked to increase their property taxes to pay for a $25 million “destination” park.

That park will include an aquatics center, community recreation center, farmers’ market/multi-purpose building, an outdoor amphitheater and a multi-purpose trail. Norman’s Pisces Project backers have been promoting the need for a new aquatics center here for many years.

Voters gave a surprising 64 percent “yes” vote to the proposition. That will cost Moore property owners an additional $4 per month for real estate with a $100,000 assessed value.

Additionally, a second proposition — adding a quarter-of-a-penny temporary sales tax for four years to pay for improvements to existing parks — was approved with a 58 percent “yes” vote. With Moore’s booming Interstate 35 retail corridor, that sales tax will be a big boost to the city’s quality of life. Those kind of taxes are popular, since not all shoppers live in Moore.

Norman has 67 parks, some with little or no improvements. Ruby Grant Park, a regional park in northwest Norman, has a master plan ready with no funding. When the two temporary taxes in Norman (public safety and county jail construction) roll off in a few years, it might be time to look at a similar proposal for our city.

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