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PM NewsBrief: Aug. 9, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, August 9, 2023.

Chickasha Gets Voter Approval For New Water Plant

Chickasha voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a new water treatment plant.

Chickasha provides drinking water for about 16,000 people in central Oklahoma.

Residents overwhelmingly voted to fund a new water treatment plant - about 94% of voters were for the proposition in Tuesday’s election.

The alternative was hiking water rates by 82%.

The current plant, which was completed in the 1970s, is operating under consent orders from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Those are special arrangements that allow the system to keep its permits while it works to fix violations.

The city says its water treatment plant is “operating past its useful life and is at risk of catastrophic failure.”

It lies in a FEMA-designated special flood hazard area between the Washita River and Line Creek.

The city estimates a new plant will cost $74 million. Much of that will be covered by the sales tax voters approved on Tuesday.

Tulsa Voters Approve Bond Package

Tulsa voters overwhelmingly approved hundreds of millions of dollars for capital improvements and maintenance in the city.

All three bond propositions on the ballot totaling $814 million and an extension of a temporary sales tax were passed with more than 60% of the vote.

Elections were held in 14 counties yesterday.

OKC To Create Public Safety Advisory Board

Oklahoma City Council approved the creation of a Community Public Safety Advisory Board to review police complaint investigations and processes.

Council voted on the Board’s creation last week, but not without contention.

The new board’s mission emphasizes communication and transparency with OKC residents about police complaints.

Councilmembers had questions about the board’s ability to deliver accountability. It will be led by a mayoral appointee.

Councilmembers introduced a motion to defer the vote and asked Mayor David Holt to have a further conversation. Neither moved forward.

Nikki Nice represents Ward 7.

“We can't even get our own mayor to work with us and talk through some of these things that we're, we're asking for. And that speaks to even our residents who also can't get this accountability,” Nice said.

Mayor Holt responded.

“Absolutely, accountable every four years,” Holt said.

Council approved the board 6-2. It will form the Community Public Safety Advisory Board through this fall.

Kinta Schools To Get AED

A rural Oklahoma public school district is set to receive its first life-saving emergency medical device tomorrow.

Oklahoma Disaster Relief is donating an automated external defibrillator or AED to Kinta Public Schools, which currently does not have one.

In a news release, Kinta Public Schools Superintendent Patricia DeVille said it would take an ambulance 15 to 30 minutes to reach the school in rural southeast Oklahoma in the event of a cardiac emergency.

An ODR representative said because Kinta is so far from a hospital, having an AED on site could mean the difference between life and death.

AEDs are used to diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and can be fatal. They are portable, electronic, and come with easy to follow audio and visual instructions.

Oklahoma statute only requires school districts to have an AED available if federal funding or donations allow.

ODR has previously donated AEDs to four other schools.

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