In 1998 the Citizens of Ada took a proactive step and passed both Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, so that the City of Ada could undertake steps to improve the infrastructure, economy, and quality of life for its citizens.
Both propositions run for a period of five years, and can be renewed by a vote of the people. Since initially approved in 1998, Prop 1 & Prop 2 were renewed by overwhelming majorities in 2002 and 2007, both propositions are currently on theAugust 28, 2012 ballot for renewal. Proposition 1 is a three-quarters of a penny sales tax that is dedicated to infrastructure and capital improvements in the City of Ada. Proposition 2 is a quarter of a penny sales tax that is dedicated to economic development activities.
Since 1998, Proposition 1 has invested over $17 million in street improvements in the City of Ada. These projects have turned crumbling streets into smooth thoroughfares, and the recent acquisition of an asphalt plant will allow the City to make street improvements in a more efficient manner. Additionally, nearly $11 million has been invested in water and sewer improvements as well. These improvements have insured that citizens have access to clean drinking water, replaced inadequate lines, and improved drainage.
Proposition 2 is dedicated to economic development in the Ada area, and the main goal of this initiative is to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of the Ada area by creating and retaining quality jobs. This goal is achieved through a variety of different strategies, which include industrial recruitment, entrepreneurship development, business retention, retail development/recruitment, and quality of life improvements. The Ada Jobs Foundation is the primary initiator of these strategies and works under contract with the City of Ada.
Since 1998, Proposition 2 has helped to stabilize and improve the Ada area economy. Proposition 2 has invested over $6.4 million in the Ada area, which have created or retained over 2,300 jobs. In fact 1 in 9 employees in Pontotoc County work for an employer that directly benefitted from Proposition 2.
Other factors such as the unemployment rate, the size of the labor force, and income levels indicate the success of Proposition 2. The Ada area unemployment rate has remained consistently below the state and national rates since the passage of Prop 2, when it was consistently above the state and national rates before the passage of Prop 2. While the unemployment rate was decreasing, the size of the Ada area labor force grew substantially and has increased by 26% or nearly 5,000 employees since 1998. Additionally, the per capita income has increased in the Ada area by 76% since 1998, while the average hourly wage has increased by 88%.