GO Norman 2020 Bond

GO Norman Logo showing a red bus, a yellow building, a green tree and grass, and a purple person with a ball.

On Tuesday, August 25, Norman residents will have the opportunity to vote on four separate General Obligation (GO) Bonds to complete the remaining Norman FORWARD quality-of-life projects, renovate municipal facilities to provide better service and safety to residents, address homelessness in Norman, and provide a relief mechanism to our city’s small businesses. If approved, the average Norman homeowner ($150,000 home value) would pay $13.93 a month for all four propositions.

Proposition 1:

Norman FORWARD

Proposition 2:

Homelessness Facilities

Proposition 3:

Municipal Facilities

Proposition 4:

Small Business Relief

This proposition would provide the $85.6 million needed to complete the remaining Norman FORWARD projects to the needs and desires of the community. These include the Multi-sport/Aquatic Center, Senior Wellness Center, Softball/Football Complex, Ruby Grant Park, Reaves Park and a Parks Maintenance Facility.

 

This proposition would provide $5 million to construct one or more built solutions intended to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Norman. Function and Programming will be determined by ongoing studies on homelessness and housing affordability.

 

This proposition would provide $24.3 million needed to complete Municipal Services Facilities. These include the Development Center, Municipal Court, Police Department and City Hall renovations, Emergency Operations Center/Dispatch and Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities.

 

This proposition would allocate $5 million to a small business relief fund to spur economic and community development in Norman in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on marginalized communities, job retention and creation programs.

 

GO Norman 2020 General Information

FAQs

What is GO Norman 2020? 

GO Norman 2020 is a general obligation (GO) bond up for a citywide vote August 25, 2020. If approved, GO Norman 2020 would fund four propositions: 

Norman FORWARD (Parks, Recreational and Community Facilities Projects) 

Homelessness Facilities (Homelessness Shelter Community Facilities Projects) 

Municipal Complex Improvements, Emergency Operations Center/Dispatch, Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities (Municipal Facilities Projects) 

Small Business Relief Fund (Economic and Community Development Projects) 

 

What is a General Obligation Bond? 

A general obligation bond, or GO bond, is a common financing tool local and state governments use to fund certain infrastructure projects - usually large capital improvements like roads, bridges, flood control, parks, and public buildings. In Oklahoma, the property tax received by the City of Norman, also known as ad valorem tax, is used to pay the interest and principal on GO bonds. GO bonds must be approved by a vote of the people. 

 

What is the amount of the total bond package? 

The GO Norman 2020 bond package totals $119.9 million. 

 

What is the bond amount for each proposition? 

City Council proposed an additional $85.6 million to complete the remaining Norman FORWARD projects to meet the needs and desires of the Norman community, $5 million for Homelessness Facilities, $24.3 million for Municipal Facilities Projects and $5 million for a Small Business Relief Fund. 

 

If the bond propositions pass, how will my taxes be impacted? 

The $119.9 million ($119,900,000) of project expenditures authorized by the City of Norman Propositions 1 through 4 would be funded by general obligation bonds, which are repaid through property taxes. If approved, the City expects to issue bonds in installments beginning in 20210. This means that property owners won’t see an increase in their property taxes due to these bonds until the 2021 bill, which will be due in full no later than March 31, 2022. If all four bond measures pass, the City anticipates raising the property tax rate by 9.83 cents per $100 of valuation during the lifecycle of these bonds.

 

Do I have to vote for or against all four of the propositions? 

No, each proposition is a separate item on the ballot. You can vote on each bond proposition independently. You do not have to vote the same way on all four propositions. 

 

How did the City of Norman decide which items to include in the proposed bond program? 

Items included in Norman FORWARD (Proposition 1) and Municipal Services Facilities (Proposition 3) represent projects that Norman voters have already approved that have been affected by factors such as increased construction costs and declining sales tax revenue and that require additional funding to meet the needs and desires of the community. Items included in Homelessness Facilities (Proposition 2) and Small Business Relief Fund (Proposition 4) represent projects that fill a timely community need and require funding to fill an unserved need in our community. 

 

When is Election Day? 

Election Day is August 25, 2020 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is August 18 and early voting is: 

Thursday, August 20, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Friday, August 21, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Saturday, August 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

To find your polling place, visit ClevelandCountyElectionBoard.com.  

Bond Transparency Act of 2017; August 25, 2020 Election

The Bond Transparency Act of 2017, Evidence of Indebtedness Form for bonds proposed in the GO Norman 2020 bond package

Proposition 1: $85.6 Million for Norman FORWARD Projects

Norman FORWARD is a citizen-initiated proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund quality-of-life projects throughout Norman. The temporary one-half percent sales tax was approved by Norman voters in 2015. Today, several  Norman FORWARD projects are complete including the Westwood Park Family Aquatic and Tennis Centers and the Norman East and Central Library branches, as well as numerous community parks.

Over the past five years, citizen Ad Hoc committees have met to oversee project design and planning to ensure each project meets the needs of the community. Based on input from these resident committees, additional funding is needed to accomplish the original vision for many of the projects. Other factors such as increased construction costs and declining sales tax revenue have affected the remaining Norman
FORWARD projects.

This proposition would provide the additional funding needed to complete the remaining Norman FORWARD projects and one percent of each project’s total costs for public art.

Read the ballot language and ordinance

Proposition 1 - Norman Forward

Taxable Anticipated Annual Anticipated Monthly
Property Value Tax Bill Impact Tax Bill Impact
$50,000 $33.24 $2.77
$100,000 $73.20 $6.10
$150,000 $113.16 $9.43
$200,000 $153.00 $12.75
$300,000 $232.92 $19.41
$400,000 $312.72 $26.06
$500,000 $392.52 $32.71
$600,000 $472.44 $39.37

GO Norman 2020 Norman FORWARD Projects

Indoor Multi-Sport and Aquatic Facility

Indoor Multi-Sport and Aquatic Facility

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $59.4 million to construct a 152,000 sq ft multi-purpose facility at 24th Ave. NW south of Rock Creek Rd. that will: accommodate competitive swimming, basketball, volleyball and other activities for youth and families in Norman as well as attract state and regional sporting events.  

 

Total Project Budget: $59.4 million
Key Features: Eight basketball courts, 50-meter x 25-yard indoor pool, six-lane x 25-yard warm-up pool and a health clinic

Senior Wellness Center

Senior Wellness Center

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $4.8 million to build a stand-alone 27,200-square-foot Senior Wellness Center for adults in Norman. The proposed location is on the Norman Regional Health Porter Campus.

Total Project Budget: $12.4 million
Key Features: Warm water pool, gym and group fitness rooms, catering kitchen, multipurpose rooms for arts, recreation and other programming, walking track

Softball/Football Sports Complex

Softball/Football Facility

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $9.1 million to build a softball and football complex to be used for youth football practice and adult softball leagues and tournaments, which will allow all fields at Reaves Park to accommodate youth events. The proposed location is at Franklin Rd. and 12th Ave. NE.

Total Project Budget: $11.5 million
Key Features: Seven youth football practice fields, five adult softball fields, restroom and concession buildings

Reaves Park

Reaves Park

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $7.4 million to replace existing adult softball fields and the existing park maintenance facility at Reaves Park with new youth baseball and softball fields including lighting, concession facilities and additional parking.

 

Total Project Budget: $15.3 million
Key Features: 14 fields including four new 8-16U softball fields, two new 13-14U baseball fields, four reconstructed 9-12U baseball fields, and four new 5-8U baseball fields

Parks Maintenance Facility

Parks Maint. Facility

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $2.8 million to construct a new Parks Maintenance Facility to provide operational and maintenance support of Norman’s parks and recreation facilities. The facility will be located on the new City Maintenance Complex at North Base on DaVinci Street west of Flood Avenue.

 

Total Project Budget: $4.8 million
Key Features: 15,900-square-foot facility with 10 service bays and administrative space

Ruby Grant Park

Ruby Grant

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $2.1 million to enhance Ruby Grant Park with utility infrastructure improvements, signage, parking, walking and running trails, practice fields, pavilion, and pedestrian lighting.\

 

Total Project Budget: $8.1 million
Key Features: Picnic pavilion, restrooms, Ruby Grant memorial, inclusive playground and exercise course, dog park, multi-use trails, cross country track, disc golf course, practice fields and parking facilities

Griffin Park

Griffin Park

The Griffin Park project is not included on the GO Norman 2020 ballot, but $21.8 million would be available and added to the project budget from existing Norman FORWARD funds if Proposition 1 is approved. Griffin Park fields would be available for use for youth soccer programs.

 

Total Project Budget: $32.8 million
Key Features: Full-size indoor soccer facility, 21 level and graded fields, additional field lighting, restrooms, concessions, additional parking and other site amenities

Norman Forward FAQs

What is Norman FORWARD? 

Norman FORWARD is a citizen-initiated proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund quality-of-life projects throughout Norman.  

 

How is Norman FORWARD funded?  

Norman FORWARD is funded by a temporary one-half percent (1/2%) sales tax that was approved by Norman voters (72% approval) on October 13, 2015. The voter authorized sales tax went into effect January 1, 2016.  

 

Why is Norman FORWARD up for another vote if it was approved in 2015? 

Factors such as increased construction costs and declining sales tax revenue have affected the remaining Norman FORWARD projects. Based on input from resident Ad Hoc committees, additional funding is needed to accomplish the original vision for many of the remaining Norman FORWARD projects.  

 

Will there be citizen oversight of the expenditures? 

Yes. The City Council appointed the Norman FORWARD Sales Tax Citizens Financial Oversight Board (CFOB) and each project has had its own Ad Hoc citizen advisory committee since the inception of Norman FORWARD. 

 
How were the projects selected? 

Norman community groups and stakeholders presented a list of quality-of-life projects to the City, which was then refined through City Council conferences and public meetings to form the Norman FORWARD package. Additional input was sought for the bond package, primarily through ad-hoc committees of interested residents for each project. 

 

Which projects are complete in Norman FORWARD? 

Several Norman FORWARD projects are complete including the Westwood Park Family Aquatic and Tennis Centers and the Norman East and Central Library branches.   

 

Which Norman FORWARD projects would receive additional funding if Proposition 1 passes? 

The following Norman FORWARD projects would receive additional funding if GO Norman 2020 passes: Indoor Aquatic and Multi-Sport Facility, Senior Wellness Center, Softball/Football Sports Complex, Ruby Grant Park, Griffin Park, Reaves Park and Parks Maintenance Facility. For more information about each of these projects, click here

Proposition 2: $5 Million for Homelessness Facilities

Agencies and organizations across Cleveland County collaborate efforts related to addressing homelessness. This multi-faceted approach is part of the national Continuum of Care (CoC) planning process. The City of Norman is the designated Collaborative Applicant or Lead Agency for the Norman/Cleveland County CoC. As the Collaborative Applicant, the City of Norman is responsible for the coordination of all federal and state funded efforts to address homelessness within Cleveland County. The CoC envisions a future in which every person and family in Cleveland County has a permanent, safe, decent, affordable home and the necessary means and community support to sustain it.

This proposition would allocate $5 million toward the construction of one or more built solutions intended to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Norman. The function and programming will be refined over the next several months as the City is in the process of comprehensive studies of homelessness and housing affordability. Bond funds cannot be used for operations or programming, but could be used for research and planning as well as design and construction of future homelessness-related capital projects. 

Read the ballot language and ordinance

Please note that the Homelessness Facilities project was included in the Norman FORWARD Ordinance but is voted on and administered separately from the Norman FORWARD Projects. 

Proposition 2 - Homeless Facility

Taxable Anticipated Annual Anticipated Monthly
Property Value Tax Bill Impact Tax Bill Impact
$50,000 $2.28 $0.19
$100,000 $5.16 $0.43
$150,000 $8.04 $0.67
$200,000 $10.68 $0.89
$300,000 $16.20 $1.35
$400,000 $21.72 $1.81
$500,000 $27.36 $2.28
$600,000 $32.88 $2.74

Proposition 3: $24.3 Million for Municipal Services Facilities

Municipal facilities across the city serve as the base of operations for every service the City of Norman provides. A comprehensive study and needs assessment shows that the City needs additional facilities and renovations to meet the needs of our growing community. This proposition would provide the additional funding needed to complete these Municipal Services Facilities that will better serve the needs of Norman residents.

Read the ballot language and ordinance 

Proposition 3 - Municipal Facilities

Taxable Anticipated Annual Anticipated Monthly
Property Value Tax Bill Impact Tax Bill Impact
$50,000 $11.28 $0.94
$100,000 $24.60 $2.05
$150,000 $38.16 $3.18
$200,000 $51.60 $4.30
$300,000 $78.84 $6.57
$400,000 $105.36 $8.78
$500,000 $132.36 $11.03
$600,000 $159.24 $13.27

GO Norman 2020 Municipal Facilities Projects

Municipal Complex Improvements

Municipal Complex

All existing buildings across the Municipal Complex are fully occupied with many departments being severely overcrowded. Temporary measures were taken in 2008 and 2012, but a more comprehensive effort is required to provide a long-term solution. The Norman Municipal Complex needs additional renovations to support our growing community. GO Norman 2020 would supplement existing 2008 GO Bond funds to complete the Municipal Complex Master Plan with needed renovations, improved space utilization, and the relocation of various City departments and services. 

 

Total Project Budget: $22.5 million

Key Features: Central hub for planning,  permitting, licensing and other development services, renovation of City Hall, relocation of Municipal Court from a temporary modular building to Building A, and a complete renovation of the Police Department

Project Description: GO Norman 2020 would supplement $11.2 million dedicated to the Municipal Complex Renovations as part of the 2008 Bond Issue. The additional $11.3 million would provide more comprehensive renovations at Building C and City Hall and would fully renovate the existing Police Department.

Emergency Operations/Dispatch Center

EOC/Dispatch

The 2014 Public Safety Sales Tax provided funds for a new Emergency Operations/Dispatch Center. A 2017 Needs Assessment showed that current funding will not meet the existing emergency management/communications needs in Norman. The 2019 Transportation Bond provided partial funding for a Traffic Management Center to also be included within this facility.  GO Norman 2020 funds would expand and enhance the center to meet long-term public safety needs of our community.    

 

Total Project Budget: $14.5 million

Key Features: Functional space for emergency communications/dispatch, emergency operations, traffic management, IT, radio management, and training spaces

Project Description: GO Norman 2020 would allocate $8 million for construction of a new facility. The facility will improve Norman’s ability to safely serve residents in daily operations and in times of emergency. It will also reinforce the structure’s exterior for weather and help ensure continual operation and improved safety to support emergency operations in Norman.

Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities

Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facility

In 2019, the University of Oklahoma announced they would no longer operate non-campus CART. In response to this, the City of Norman stepped up and agreed to ensure public transit service was maintained throughout the City of Norman. In November 2019, voters passed the Public Transit Sales Tax to fund operations of the City’s inherited system. GO Norman 2020 would allocate funds to build comprehensive fleet maintenance facilities for public transit buses as well as fire vehicles. Currently, the construction of these facilities is only partially funded by the 2014 Public Safety Sales Tax and some CARES Act funding.

 

Total Project Budget: $11 million

Key Features: Four new service bays for buses and fire vehicles, storage, wash facilities, administrative offices and restrooms

Project Description: GO Norman 2020 would allocate $5 million for construction of new fleet and fire maintenance facilities on the new City Maintenance Complex at North Base on DaVinci Street west of Flood to include, wash facilities, new service bays, administrative offices, storage and restrooms.

Municipal Facilities FAQs

Why are municipal facilities important? 

Municipal facilities serve as the base of operations for many of the services the City of Norman provides. A comprehensive study and needs assessments show that the City needs additional facilities and renovations to meet the needs of our growing community. This proposition would provide the additional funding needed to improve Municipal Services Facilities that would better serve the needs of Norman residents. 

 

Why is this included on GO Norman 2020? 

All existing buildings across the Municipal Complex are fully occupied with many departments being severely overcrowded. Temporary measures were taken in 2008 and 2012, but a more comprehensive effort is required to provide a long-term solution. GO Norman 2020 would supplement existing 2008 GO Bond funds to complete the Municipal Complex Master Plan with needed renovations, improved space utilization, and the relocation of various City departments and services. 

 

What projects are included in this proposition? 

GO Norman 2020 would supplement existing 2008 GO Bond funds to complete the Municipal Complex Master Plan with needed renovations, improved space utilization, and the relocation of various City departments and services.  

 

The additional $11.3 million would provide more comprehensive renovations at Building C and City Hall and would fully renovate the existing Police Department. Projects include an Emergency Operation Center/Dispatch and Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities. 

 

What is the proposed Emergency Operations Center/Dispatch? 

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $8 million for construction of a new facility. The facility will improve Norman’s ability to safely serve residents in daily operations and in times of emergency. It will also reinforce the structure’s exterior for weather, improve safety and ensure continued emergency operations in Norman. For more information about this project, click here. 

 

Why do we need additional funding for the Emergency Operations Center? 

The 2014 Public Safety Sales Tax provided funds for a new Emergency Operations Center/Dispatch. A 2017 Needs Assessment showed that current funding will not meet the existing emergency management/communications needs in Norman. The 2019 Transportation Bond provided partial funding for a Traffic Management Center to also be included within this facility. GO Norman 2020 funds would expand and enhance the center to meet long-term public safety needs of our community. 

 

What are the proposed Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities? 

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $5 million for construction of new fleet and fire maintenance facilities on the new City Maintenance Complex at North Base on DaVinci Street west of Flood to include, wash facilities, new service bays, administrative offices, storage and restrooms. For more information about this project, click here. 

 

Why do we need additional funding for Fleet and Fire Maintenance Facilities? 

In 2019, the University of Oklahoma announced they would no longer operate non-campus CART. In response to this, the City of Norman agreed to ensure public transit service was maintained throughout the City of Norman. In November 2019, voters passed the Public Transit Sales Tax to fund operations of the City’s inherited system. GO Norman 2020 would allocate funds to build comprehensive fleet maintenance facilities for public transit buses as well as fire vehicles. Currently, the construction of these facilities is only partially funded by the 2014 Public Safety Sales Tax and the CARES Act. 

Proposition 4: $5 Million for Small Business Relief Fund

Norman’s  small businesses have faced an unprecedented economic disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak. The City’s Economic Development Advisory Board is developing a business relief program for Norman small businesses affected by the pandemic. 

GO Norman 2020 would allocate $5 million to a small business relief fund to spur economic and community development in Norman in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on marginalized communities, job retention and creation programs.

Read the ballot language and ordinance

Proposition 4 - Small Business Assistance

Taxable Anticipated Annual Anticipated Monthly
Property Value Tax Bill Impact Tax Bill Impact
$50,000 $2.28 $0.19
$100,000 $5.16 $0.43
$150,000 $8.04 $0.67
$200,000 $10.68 $0.89
$300,000 $16.20 $1.35
$400,000 $21.72 $1.81
$500,000 $27.36 $2.28
$600,000 $32.88 $2.74

Total Propositions

Total Propositions*

Taxable Anticipated Annual Anticipated Monthly
Property Value Tax Bill Impact Tax Bill Impact
$50,000 $49.08 $4.09
$100,000 $108.12 $9.01
$150,000 $167.40 $13.95
$200,000 $225.96 $18.83
$300,000 $344.16 $28.68
$400,000 $461.52 $38.46
$500,000 $579.60 $48.30
$600,000 $697.44 $58.12
*There will be small differences due to the assumed fixed costs being split differently