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(STILLWATER, OK) – Mayor Joyce and Councilors agreed the best way to move forward with possible funding options for a new Animal Welfare facility and other much-needed public safety concerns should be determined by voters on November 14, 2023.
The Animal Welfare facility will be presented as a general obligation bond and the Public Safety District proposition (per SB 838) would be collected in the same manner as ad valorem taxes.
Mayor Joyce included, “the State Legislature has wisely allowed us to diversify our revenue sources, and our community has the opportunity to take action to lessen our reliability on sales tax for essential public safety functions.”
Deputy City Manager Melissa Reames shared that the Public Safety Protection District could be used to purchase police and fire vehicles and apparatus.
Reames said the Animal Welfare facility was inadequate in 1984 when it originally opened and the need for a new facility is just as much a people issue as an animal issue.
“Our Animal Welfare staff are more than adoptions and surrenders, they serve as code enforcement,” included Deputy City Manager Reames. “A new facility is required to meet the community’s current needs and to increase services for more education and health/safety efforts.”
Reames included that there will be multiple opportunities for community discussion and input and that the facility is part of, “T.I.M.E. – Together Investing in Municipal Excellence,” Stillwater’s initiative for collaboration between City and residents to identify needs and funding sources.
City Administration, Engineering, Police and Fire departments will move forward collecting information, scope of needs, estimated costs, and other details for City Council consideration. Resolutions will be presented to Council in July.