Burk Voters to Decide on Two Major Projects

Voters in Burkburnett will decide the fate of two community projects. The Board of Commissioners voted Monday to add two bond issues to the November 2nd ballot.

The first would be to approve up to $2.5 million to build a city splash park. The other would be to determine wether the city will spend up to $1.6 million to move forward with the now-stalled Community Center renovation.

That project was delayed by an April petition circulated by the Burkburnett Watchdog Group. They were upset over the decision to use certificates of obligation to fund the project. Certificates of obligation don't go to a vote, bonds do.

Part of the earlier project would have included funds from the Burkburnett Independent School District. That money would have purchased kitchen equipment for the center. Burk ISD officials had planned to put a new culinary arts program in place and would have used the Community Center. City manager Mike Slye said the city will now have to make up for those lost funds. Renovating the kitchen is still part of the overall project plans.

City Commissioner Josh Andrajack said the splash park idea came out of the city's need to update its pool. The Burk city pool is over 50 years old. And, said Andrajack, city officials want the facility to rival those in other area towns.

The items would have appeared on the ballot together. However, commissioners amended the motion and placed the two items on the ballot separately.

Andrajack said the city is looking at forming an advisory committee to submit ideas for the park. He said they want the input of the people in Burk. Andrajack stressed the bond would approve funds up to the $2.5 million, but the city wouldn't have to spend the full amount. The original presentation on the idea came in at $1.5 million. Andrajack said, after looking at similar projects in other communities, city officials decided $1.5 million would not be enough.