The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

December 22, 2012

City of Enid parks proposal plans were generated from public surveys conducted in 2008

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Increase Enid’s draw

Stuber said the citywide overhaul of parks, paired with building the two new neighborhood parks and the large community park, would increase Enid’s draw for sales-tax-paying visitors.

“I think people underestimate the financial impact things like this will have in bringing new dollars into town. If you are able to increase your sales tax revenue, that helps the budget, which helps all the other things,” he said. “It’s not about ‘this or that,’ it’s ‘this, then that.’”

He said spreading the parks funding between an ad valorem tax and sales tax broadens the base of people paying for the plan by capturing sales tax revenue from people who live outside Enid, but come here to shop.

“It’s incredibly important that we let outsiders come in and help us pay for our new parks,” Stuber said. “They’re coming here anyway, at a half-cent in sales tax, let’s let them help pay for this.”

By investing in its parks infrastructure, Stuber said the city would be taking a step in the right direction toward stemming an “exodus” of local youth, families and businesses.

“It’s not just about the kids, it’s about the entire family,” Stuber said. “This is about creating places where children and families can build memories, so hopefully our children and grandchildren want to come back to Enid.”

Enid voters have more than two months to study the parks plan issue, to weigh their options and determine how they will vote.

Whether voters embrace the proposal or vote it down, Benson said the people’s choice at the polls will determine the city’s course.

“It is the role of government in Enid to give the people the opportunity to determine their level of quality of life, and their means to achieve it,” Benson said. “This is about your community and your kids, and if you like it, vote for it. If you don’t like it, don’t vote for it. If the people vote ‘no,’ then that’s fine. We’ll move on to something else.”

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