That’s the sentiment of city leaders following the defeated streets and road election Tuesday that only pulled in 1,507 registered voters in a city with 16,098 active voters.
In favor of the $9 million proposal were 618 voters. The other 889 who voted checked no.
And that no means the streets will continue to deteriorate and this week’s rainfall further compounded the problem.
City Manager Jim Frieda, one of the most vocal proponents in favor of the election said Wednesday that between extreme dry weather, then the rain, temporarily patched potholes will wash out.
“It just further deteriorates the potholes. We will survey them in dry weather to see how bad things have been washed out,” he said. “We’ll have to fill them in with asphalt.”
For Frieda though, he’s more disappointed in the apathy of Duncan citizens.
“I”m not upset with those who voted against it. I’m disappointed with those who didn’t vote or cast a ballot. Obviously, the ones who voted felt strongly about how the money should be spent.”
Frieda said he will continue to recommend to the city council members that the city avoid incurring more debt on this topic.
“What we did not anticipate, with the long time we took to get this out to the public, we did not expect such a low turnout. Less than 10 percent of voters came out. It reflects the apathy of the citizens.”
For Chris Deal, Duncan Chamber of Commerce & Industry president, he too said the vote reflected the community’s attitude about the proposed property tax.
“My personal recommendation, in having experience with the school bond issues, is hoping it will be re-evaluated,” Deal said.
Capital Improvement Plans are something Deal is very familiar with and having a viable infrastructure of solid streets, particularly arterial feeds that connect retail industry to the other parts of the city is something that everyone should be concerned with.
“Our investment into ourselves speaks volumes,” he said. Deal said that most everyone was aware of the argument of the election proposal being a property tax versus sales tax issue.
Duncan does bring in outside sales tax dollars, with people coming from Lawton, Ardmore and even Wichita Falls, Texas, to spend their money here, and had it been a sales tax issue, more people would be helping to pay for the road and street improvements, he said. But, on the flip side, it also means if the sales tax base goes up, those same people, and even local consumers, would take their pocketbooks to other communities.
Studies have found that a community with a rating of 1 in terms of economic stability are doing well, he shared. Duncan has a 1.37 rating, meaning that money is coming into the area, Deal said.
“Our retail shows a large amount of people bring their dollars into Duncan. That’s one reason our roads are important,” he said. Unfortunately though, the tax base whether it is Duncan or the state of Oklahoma as a whole, is not large enough to support the miles of roads, including those within this community, he said.
“The city will recover from this, it’s not the end of the world and our economic future doesn’t hinge on it. The people didn’t like the bond issue as proposed.”
Deal applauded the city for at least attempting to host town hall meetings to inform the public, and he, like others, wonders about revisiting the issue.
“Democracy has become a spectator sport. You would hope for better turnout,” Deal said.
Lyle Roggow, President of Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF), said the failed issue also doesn’t strongly affect the manufacturing sector.
“We always want the community to look good and when you take individuals through, you take them on maintained streets,” he said Thursday. “Our manufacturing industry remains strong, so it generates sales tax to import revenue into the community, which makes the community strong.”
He said having the manufacturing sector provides good paying jobs and that while people are gainfully employed with such jobs, they, in turn, spend their incomes in their community.
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Golden Corral building remains vacant
In November 2012, Duncan’s Golden Corral closed its doors, leaving its building vacant on U.S. Highway 81.
More than a year later, the building still doesn’t have a new business. And it’s not the only building in such a condition. Buildings previously home to Hastings Entertainment and Goodies also remain vacant.
The gift of giving
Many young people have made out their list for Christmas, however, 11 Duncan Middle School students recently experienced the joy of giving rather than receiving.
Before Christmas each year, Love in Action, an organization through Eastside Church of Christ, makes aprons out of holiday themed fabric to take to nursing homes. This year, the group wasn’t able to purchase the fabric.
Jimmy’s Egg to arrive in March
Jimmy’s Egg is coming to Duncan.
In March, the breakfast and lunch restaurant will be taking over the old Legacy Bank location, just south of the Legacy Bank on U.S. Highway 81. This adds to other recent restaurant chains that have moved into Duncan in the past 12 months, including national chain Applebees Neighborhood Grill & Bar and Oklahoma chain Interurban.
Revolvers and Rhinestones to offer mounted shooting clinic
Cowboy mounted shooting is a fast-growing sport in the United States and now the Duncan community has the opportunity to learn skills from the best.
Revolvers and Rhinestones is presenting a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Clinic Dec. 20 with instructor Curt Moore. Beginning shooters, who have never shot off their horse, will be from 1-3 p.m. and intermediate shooters, who want to refine their skills, will be from 3-5 p.m. at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.
2014 proposed budget shows decrease in debt
The first draft of the proposed 2014 budget for the City of Duncan reflects a decline in debt and an increase in reserves.
Tuesday, members of the Duncan City Council reviewed the tentative budget, while City Manager Jim Frieda and City Financial Director Patti Clift discussed trends in the budgeting session and within various departments.
Police investigate theft at Cameron Measurements
Duncan police officers are investigating theft of steel stock and a 2006 Ford F-350 float bed pickup truck from Cameron Measurements.
Police are looking for three individuals who broke into the industrial business around 9 p.m. Sunday. The incident was reported before 8 a.m. Monday.
Two nights left to bid on Christmas Auction items
If you haven’t viewed the Christmas Auction yet this year, there are only two more nights to check out the many items up for bid.
Bids will be taken for various items from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and live viewing can be watched on Duncan Channel 10 or at duncanauction.org. Though several items have been sold, there are still plenty to catch your eye.
Outstanding warrant issued for third man in Comanche home invasion
Six felony charges have been filed and an outstanding warrant issued for a third Walters man thought to be involved in a January home invasion in Comanche.
Andrew Glenn Travis, 26, was identified by one of the arrested men as having driven the two men Jan. 29, to and from the home invasion. Charges against Travis include conjoin robbery, burglary in the first and second degrees, two charges of conspiracy, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. His bond has been set at $50,000.
Filing period ends, elections imminent
Marlow City Council, and Bray-Doyle and Central High school board will all have elections, while a new member will join the Duncan Board of Education uncontested.
The filing period for various school board positions and two Marlow City Council ward seats began Monday morning at the Stephens County Election Board Office. The period closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The election for those positions will be Feb. 11, 2014.
Demetra Cox was the only person to file for Office No. 4 of the Duncan Board of Education. The position is held by Lisa Presgrove, who has been on the board longer than any of the board’s other members.
Duncan man faces charge of bringing contraband into jail
A Duncan man, arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, received further charges after arriving at the Stephens County Jail, including the felony charge of introduction of controlled dangerous substance to penal facility.
Andrew Clint McCormick, 22, was arrested Friday, after being pulled over for speeding and failing to pass various sobriety tests. Officer Jason Downs was the arresting officer in the case against McCormick.
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- Golden Corral building remains vacant