Citizen group suggests different way to finance ADA

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ARDMORE, OK - "Some people think we're against economic development, we're certainly not against economic development," said Luke Pollard, a member of the Transparency Advocacy Group.

It's made up of Ardmore citizens who want clarity and responsible spending in government. And they've been asking citizens to say "no" to the Ardmore Development Authority's quarter cent sales tax renewal.

"We think that some money can be taken out of that oil and gas money to take care of the sales tax issue," said Pollard.

Pollard is talking about the seven wells drilled at the Ardmore Airpark. The ADA says most years they've received $300,000 to $500,000 from the wells while last year they received $2 million. But Interim ADA CEO Brian Carter said the Airpark lease states that money can't be spent on anything but real estate improvements.

"So any of the physical projects that we might do," said Carter. "Buildings, infrastructure, hard assets."

The quarter cent sales tax renewal would go toward fire and rescue services at the Airpark, marketing to bring businesses to the area and the ADA's operating costs.Carter said those all require a reliable income stream, and they can't trust the wells for that.

"You never really know how a given oil well is going to perform, and you never know what the price of oil is going to be," Carter said. "So to try and plan stable operations on oil and gas revenue is very difficult."

So the election moves forward. But Pollard stands by his message.

"We don't think there's a need for the sales tax," he said.