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Local News

May 15, 2013

Duncan voters defeat street improvement bond

DUNCAN — Major street improvements won’t be happening anytime soon for the City of Duncan.

Of the 1,507 people who voted in Tuesday’s election, 889 people (or 58.99 percent) voted against the proposition for the general obligation bond to repair 255 street segments  throughout Duncan. In all, 618 people (41.01 percent) voted for the street improvements.

“The disappointing part of the whole thing is there’s a lot more to it than streets involved,” Duncan Mayor Gene Brown said. “It was future growth, city pride.

“We want to diversify. How can we diversify if we can’t even keep our streets up?”

If the bond had passed, it would have focused on repairing streets in various areas in Duncan. There would have also been an increase in property taxes to help pay for the bond issue.

Brown said the streets need to be fixed, and that situation won’t fix itself.

“The only thing that’s going to change is the price will go up,” he said. “Everybody knew we needed money to fix the streets.

“We need to look beyond this period we’re in to look at the future.”

The bond won only two precincts during Tuesday’s election. Those included the precinct at First United Methodist Church where it won 60 percent of the vote, and Elk Avenue Church of Christ where it took 53.06 percent of the vote.

Brown acknowledged that some people were concerned that only home and property owners would be impacted a monetary increase to repair the streets. He said some people would have rather increased sales tax.

“When you get sales tax above 9 percent, merchants get nervous,” Brown said.

In 2007, the City of Duncan did attempt a sales tax, but it was defeated by voters. During that election, 474 people voted for the proposition, while 732 voted against.

Brown said there isn’t much he would do differently or could do differently with Tuesday’s election. He said he thought it might pass because people know of the need to repair the streets.

“I can’t think of anything we could have done differently than go door to door,” Brown said. “The big question is where do we go from here?”

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