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Sapulpa passes $279 million bond package, while McLoud and Luther proposals fail

A "vote here" sign marks the entrance to an early voting station in downtown Minneapolis in 2018.
Steve Karnowski
A "vote here" sign marks the entrance to an early voting station in downtown Minneapolis in 2018.

Voters in 34 Oklahoma counties made their voices heard at the ballot box Tuesday on school bonds and other issues.

Sapulpa School Bond

Sapulpa voters barely approved a $279 million school bond package. The first proposition passed with a 60.99% approval, while the second passed with 61.78% of the vote. Bond issues require a 60% supermajority to pass.

Most of the first proposal will be used to fund the construction of a new high school campus, including a new performing arts center, storm shelter and indoor athletic facility.

The second bond proposal of $2.5 million will pay for new school buses and activity vans.

McLoud Public Schools

Both school bonds presented to McLoud residents failed to reach the required 60 supermajority threshold to pass.

The first bond proposal sought $18.4 million to build 12 new high school classrooms, as well as two new technology rooms, a science lab and an art room. Funds would have also been used to turn the football and soccer field from a grass field into a turf field, while improving drainage issues and the parking lot. A track and field facility would have also been built, but McLoud’s team will have to continue practicing in a grass lot.

The second bond proposition was a $1.1 million bond for eight new buses. It also did not pass.

Canadian Valley Technology Center

Oklahomans across eight counties rejected a $75 million bond to fund improvements to two Canadian Valley Technology Center campuses in El Reno and Chickasha.

The El Reno campus was seeking to build a new public safety training facility for law enforcement cadets, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs..

The Chickasha campus, which is roughly 60 years old, was seeking major renovations to its facilities. School officials said major updates were sorely needed to meet current technology and safety standards.

School officials say their campuses have enrolled nearly 2,000 students this year, but had to turn away about 600 due to a lack of capacity.

The eight counties in the technology center’s district include Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Garvin, Grady, Kingfisher, McClain, and Oklahoma counties.

McCurtain County Commissioner

McCurtain County in far Southeastern Oklahoma has a new commissioner for District 2, with Republican Tina Foshee-Thomas beating Democrat Tony Hill by about 200 votes.

The election was made necessary due to the resignation of Commissioner Mark Jennings in April, after he was heard on a recording that included remarks about lynching Black people and killing journalists.

Minco Mayor

Vice mayor Susan Hollandsworth will be the next mayor of Minco, a city of about 1,500 people located roughly 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. She bested local business owner Dena Sanford by just 18 votes.

Minco’s former mayor of eight years, Keith McMullen, abruptly resigned in May after the city council voted unanimously to fire the city’s attorney and cut its police budget by about a third from the previous year. The city’s police chief Joshua Fletcher and other officers resigned the following week.

More elections

With just slightly more than 60% of the vote, Midwest City voters chose to extend its 9.1% sales tax rate, specifically the 0.4015% of it that the city will direct toward drainage, stormwater and sewage system improvements and park planning and maintenance.

A bond proposal by Luther Public Schools failed, as it only received 57.55% of the vote, short of the 60% supermajority required to pass. The school was seeking approval of a $43 million bond for the construction of a new gymnasium and new safe rooms in its middle school, elementary school and for its pre-k.

Just 21 votes were the difference in Norman approving the right for Oklahoma Natural Gas to install, operate and maintain services in city streets and rights of way. In exchange for a 25-year franchise agreement, the city will receive a franchise fee paid by ONG.

You can find full results, including those in Lawton, McAlester, Okarche and Weatherford, on the State Election Board’s website.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.