By Wally Kennedy
MIAMI, Okla. —
Voters in Miami gave a green light Tuesday to a proposal for a multimillion-dollar stadium and event center project at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
According to complete but unofficial returns from the Ottawa County Election Board, the measure passed 819-596.
Voters approved a city sales tax shift of 0.65 percent from street projects to the stadium and event center. The proposal calls for the issuance of up to $8.8 million in bonds, refinancing current road debt, extending the amended sales tax for 22 years, and obtaining $2.5 million from such sources as donations, lease agreements and naming rights.
The measure was backed by city officials, the local school district and the community college. The center is to be called the Red Robertson Multi-Purpose Event and Sports Complex.
Supporters of the plan said Red Robertson Field, built in 1964, is showing the impact of use.
A Miami Community Facilities Authority will be created. It will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the complex. The authority will be composed of representatives of the City Council, NEO and the Miami School District.
The school district, which now uses Robertson Field, would have a lease arrangement for the complex, with lease revenue going toward the debt.
Supporters of the proposal said the complex could have an estimated annual economic impact of $700,000 for local businesses from athletic, civic, and city and regional events that the complex could accommodate.
Also Tuesday, voters in the Quapaw, Wyandotte, Turkey Ford and Afton school districts elected school board members.
• At Quapaw, Position No. 3 will be filled by John Jennings, who received 149 votes. Dale Lasiter Jr. and Wesley Davis received 47 and 32 votes, respectively.
• At Turkey Ford, Position No. 1 will be filled by Clarence Jones, who received 85 votes. His opponent, Geneva Fletcher, received 35 votes.
• At Wyandotte, a runoff election will be held because no single candidate received a majority of the total vote. The runoff will be conducted later between Brian Clapp, who received 88 votes (38 percent), and Steve Dixon, who received 60 votes (26 percent), according to the election board. Alan Goforth and Kenneth Arment received 54 and 30 votes, respectively.
• At Afton, Position No. 3 will be filled by Jeff Robinson, who received 109 votes. His opponent, Roger Cook, received 105 votes.
THE MIAMI PROPOSAL was endorsed by about 58 percent of those voting. A simple majority was required for passage.