Parks, attractions, libraries; Norman civic leaders say they all need a little tender loving care.
They're taking a chance on a fundraising plan we've seen work before, but, it will be up to voters Tuesday whether to give it the go ahead.
The city is proposing a half cent sales tax increase over 15 years to fund projects costing $150 million. Improvements that, that they say, would give the entire city a facelift.
“We've not had any other project of this size and scope that would really dramatically change what Norman looks like,” said John Woods, Norman Chamber of Commerce president.
This would include sprucing up 51 parks across the city like Griffin Park. If voters approve the measure on Tuesday, the park would be solely devoted to soccer and the city would build a new indoor soccer field.
The Norman Forward project would also retire old basketball courts.
“I'm really excited about it because I’ve lived here long time and I played basketball in the same facility that my daughter played basketball in,” Norman library branch manager Caroline Dulworth said.
The project would build a new indoor youth athletic facility, replacing the old World War II hanger on North Base.
A large chunk of the sales take hike would also pay for two new libraries, something Dulworth believes readers need.
“We have a fabulous children's department but they are always needing space for story time. We actually have had to turn children away the last couple of years,” she said.
The biggest issue the library struggles with daily is the battle to find more space. Norman Forward would replace the downtown location and add a new library on the east side of town.
But unlike other elections, the city thinks nearly every Norman resident will benefit from the citywide up grades that they say will improve the quality of life.