The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 1, 2013

Paying bond forward

NORMAN — When Cleveland County voters approved the 2008 proposal to increase their sales tax to pay for a new detention center, few could have anticipated the explosion in retail activity in northwest Norman and Moore or that building costs would fall with the recession.

The projections were it could take up to 20 years to pay down the $52 million bond issue. The jail construction bid came in at much less than the bonded amount and the sales tax is bringing in more than $500,000 per month.

Now, the jail is completed and the county trust that oversees the jail has money in the bank. Trustees are paying the debt ahead of schedule as they promised before the public vote in 2008.

Commissioners paid an additional $7 million ahead in 2011 and agreed to pay $6 million ahead this week. Soon, officials should be able to let county residents know when they expect the tax could end.

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