LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Big changes are on the way to Altus after voters approved two propositions on Tuesday.
For more than a decade, Altus residents and city leaders have talked about doing something big with the city reservoir, turning it into a destination. Tuesday, voters headed to the polls and decided it’s time.
“It will have an amphitheater, we’ll have water sports, kayaking, a place to swim, we’ll have splash pads, a place for food vendor trucks to set up,” said Altus Mayor Jack Smiley.
Several other projects will be completed as a result of the MAPS II vote, all focusing on one thing - quality of life.
“What Oklahoma City learned years and years ago when they lost the United deal, United did not come to Oklahoma City because their employees did not want to live there. So, what this does is improves the quality of life in Altus. You know, Kirk Humphries said it best, if you improve the quality of life in your town, the rest of the things will take care of itself,” Smiley said.
The other proposition that passed, focuses on tax rates and will reduce the electric rates by six percent by raising the sales tax rate.
“Our electric rates in the City of Altus are higher than a lot of other places. We have found that has been a major reason people have complained about different things. We really are listening to the citizens here and trying to be proactive in doing what they want,” said Altus Public Information Officer Tyler Mott.
“Our electrical costs are higher than average and our sales tax is actually lower than average so what we’re doing is moving that burden to sales tax, which everyone who shops here pays, instead of just putting that burden on the 8,000 residential meters,” Smiley said.
“MAPS I officially expires on March 31, 2021. MAPS II will go into effect the very next day on April 1. Once that happens, the city will then spend the next 12 years tackling the projects.
Like MAPS I, 50-percent of the money will go to Altus Public Schools. They plan on using the money to finish putting safe rooms at all of their sites, upgrade the swimming facility for the district and much more.