Town hall meeting held on tax

Ada Mayor Darrell Nemecek speaks about a possible continuence of a one-cent sales tax to residents at a special meeting Monday along with city officials. A vote on the issue will be Aug. 24.



City leaders met Monday at Pontotoc Technology Center to discuss with residents plans for the one-cent sales tax should it continue.

One issue brought to light was what would happen if any of the projects cost more than the $15 million officials have projected. 

Experts calculate the one-cent tax would bring in $16.5 million, leaving $1.5 million for any unexpected overages.

City leaders made it clear some projects take priority over others.

“We would promise the citizens that the fire department and the police department and vital infrastructure would be paid for before the ball fields were paid for,” Councilor Roger Cupps said. “If we had to put in less ball fields, we would make sure the vital infrastructure was done (first).”

Mayor Darrell Nemecek said if the tax is continued, the projects would begin soon after.

Another issue concerning residents was an alternate future water supply if the projected study indicates the current pipes — which city officials have said are leaking — need to be fixed.

“Is the above ground water supply for Ada, is that just totally out the window? Are we just going to rely on getting the water from the aquifer,” one resident asked.

Mayor Darrell Nemecek said it is a separate issue but talks of building Scissortail Lake are ongoing and other municipalities have expressed interest in helping foot the bill in exchange for a share of the water.

“We’ve spoken with some other cities that maybe are wanting to partner with Ada to help share the expense (of constructing a lake),” Nemecek said. 

“Two other cities have already contacted Mr. (David) Hathcoat (Ada City Manager) who are interested in helping build this lake.”

Nemecek said Ada would continue to get water from Byrd’s Mill Spring along with water from a lake if created.

Ada Parks and Recreation Director Randy McFarlin said money collected from the tax would also be used for the beautification of Ada. He said traffic lights, electric poles and signage would be improved and modernized.

Street light poles on Main Street would be replaced with the same type of poles in front of East Central University’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. All wiring would run underground.

“This new design of street lighting would go end to end (on Main Street), everything would be underground, a clean new look,” McFarlin said.

He said outdated traffic signals, along with the poles they rest on, would be replaced with ones similar to the new ones at the intersection of Hoppe and Lonnie Abbott.

Leaders stressed the tax would be a continuance and not an increase and that those coming from out of town to spend money here would help fund the improvements and share the cost.

The vote on whether or not to continue the tax is scheduled for Aug. 24.

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