The City of Catoosa hosted two public meetings to share details and answer questions about the Our Catoosa Now bond initiative on the ballot on April 5th.
On April 5th, Catoosa voters will consider whether to approve a general obligation bond to build a new public safety complex in our community. If passed, this $20,500,000 bond will be used both to build a new public safety complex that is better located to serve all of Catoosa and also to purchase new public safety equipment for both police and fire.
Now and into the future, modern, built-for-purpose public safety facilities are critical to better serving our current and future citizens and businesses in an emergency. Our police and fire departments have outgrown their current facilities, and those current buildings don’t have room for additional personnel, modern technology, or even our current equipment – much less meeting the needs of our community in the future.
Our central fire station and our police department are located near railroad tracks for a busy train line, causing challenges in reaching parts of the city. Both are also located near two school zones, posing similar response time challenges in certain directions. Our current police station was constructed in the 1940s, and our fire department in the late ‘90s, and neither were ever intended to be used for public safety. A new, well-sited public safety complex will decrease response times, enhance the efficiency of and cooperation between the police and fire departments, increase the overall safety and security of our community, provide better public access to emergency services round the clock, and allow our public safety agencies to effectively grow with the needs of our community when necessary.Download Bond Proposition
These public safety improvements are necessary to support our current citizens and future growth in Catoosa, and do not fit in our current operating budget. To make these improvements, we are asking residents to consider approving a 25 year General Obligation (GO) bond.
GO bonds are often used to fund large public infrastructure projects, like the proposed public safety building. This type of bond is repaid through yearly property taxes until the bond expires. After a GO bond expires, the property tax collected to pay for it retires. Catoosa currently does not receive any property (ad valorem) tax – voters in Catoosa must choose to use property tax in this way for Catoosa to have access to this funding source.
Catoosa’s operating budget, like all other Oklahoma cities, is not funded through property (ad valorem) tax. In fact, our operating budget is composed of local sales taxes, use or excise taxes, inspections and permits – and those sources do not increase enough annually on their own to fund major projects and initiatives. That’s why city governments, including Catoosa, often bring funding options like GO bonds to their voters to address critical infrastructure needs.
Local elections impact many important aspects of our communities, including public safety, so we want to encourage everyone to get out and vote on April 5. To check your voter registration status and find your polling place, visit the Oklahoma Voter Portal.