Grove City Council urged voters to turn out for the August 26th election at a regular meeting Tuesday night.
Ward IV Council Member Gary Trippensee said that many people he has talked to are unaware that there is an election coming up, and it is important for citizens to register their vote for or against the proposed new jail tax next Tuesday.
The council voted five to zero to take a stand against the new jail tax at a meeting during the first week of August.
Ward III Council Member Larry Parham has been particularly vocal in his opposition to the tax.
“Grove is the second highest taxed city of its size in the state already,” Parham said. “This new jail can be done another way.
“Some have stated that if the citizens don’t pass the jail tax, it will automatically be taken out in ad valorem taxes,” Parham continued. “We don’t want to take that lightly, but that is not really the case. In other places when people have voted against taxes like this it has not come out of ad valorem taxes.”
Currently, Grove sales tax revenue is increasing by 4.2 percent.
Parham said that over a 20-year period if the sales tax only increases by two percent every year, the proposed tax would raise $39.5 million, whereas the jail is actually only going to cost an estimated $10 million.
Parham went on to say that Delaware County does need a new jail, but that he feels the county can find a better way to finance it.
Delaware County is being sued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health because of overcrowding issues at the current jail facility. The county could be fined up to $10,000 a day if the situation is not rectified.
County commissioners have said that the lawsuit would be dropped if the jail tax passes.
In other business, the council approved a request from REC to close 18th Street between Main and Broadway on September 20th for REC Day; approved a funding agreement to benefit the Grove Safe House for victims of domestic violence; agreed to solicit bids for an operable panel partition for the Grove Community Center; and accepted a bid of $18,631.40 from Green Country Ford for a new Buildings and Grounds vehicle.
Mayor Gary Bishop also issued a proclamation declaring September 20th Responsible Dog Ownership Day. The Northeast Oklahoma chapter of the American Kennel Club will be sponsoring a host of activities that day to help educate the public about responsible dog ownership.
“The last thing we want is another headline about a child being mauled by a dog,” said AKC spokesperson Travis Taylor.
The Grove City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. in Room 5 of the Grove Community Center.