Election To Decide Fate Of Proposed Sports Complex In Yukon
YUKON, Oklahoma - The construction of a new sports park in Yukon lies in the hands of the voters.
They must approve an $18 million bond to get the dirt moving. However, how the bond is being funded has kicked up some controversy.
Roughly a 1,000 kids play soccer games at Ranchwood Park, a small field in the middle of Yukon.
“We've just outgrown our facility,” said Lee Clark with the Yukon Soccer Club. “The creek behind me fills up and washes everything onto the soccer fields so then it takes a day to get all that cleaned up and to get debris out of the nets.”
That's why Clark plans to vote “yes” to Proposition 1, an $18 million bond that would be used to build the Yukon Sports Complex. The proposed complex would be located at the corner of Frisco Road and Route 66.
If approved, the bond would fund phase one and include nine outdoor soccer fields, spectator seating, scoreboards, concession stands, restrooms sidewalks and plenty of parking. It would also widen Frisco Road to four lanes.
“People will come, they'll stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, we could garner about a half million dollars a year in sales tax just for hosting a few tournaments here,” said Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby. “Our children will be able to play here even adults can come here and have a nice facility to utilize.”
The bond would be funded through a property tax on a 10 year note. The highest payment is on the second year at $133 a year per $100,000 in property value. Then, the payment would decrease each year after that until the last year when it would be $50 a year per $100,000 in property value.
“Sales tax I think would be something that would be a nice alternative, something that people could choose to pay,” said Yukon resident Brian White. “Property tax, if you own property, you don't have a choice to pay it. It's not that I’m against kids playing soccer and having something to do, what I don't like is how it's being funded.”
Crosby says a sales tax similar to what Oklahoma City did with its MAPS program isn't an option.
“Sales tax is down throughout the state, most cities even Oklahoma City has made major cutbacks,” Crosby said. “We're down this year by $700,000 in sales tax today.”
Other plans for the land include softball and baseball fields and walking trails. A private developer plans to put in a water park, which taxpayers would not pay for.
“It would be great for that area to have a place for people to come and spectate sports and gather,” said Clark.
The City of Yukon is purchasing the land and $3 million of the bond money would be used to pay it off. If the issue is voted down, the land would remain the property of Yukon. Yukon residents will vote on Tuesday.