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Tontitown voters extend sales tax by nearly 5-1 ratio

by NWA Democrat-Gazette | October 13, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
"I Voted" stickers for early voters Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.

TONTITOWN -- The city can undertake water and sewer projects after voters Tuesday approved an extension of the city's 1% sales tax by an almost 5-to-1 ratio.

Proceeds from the tax would go, in part, to refinance city debt, to extend and to improve both the water and the sewer systems of the city and to pay for a new fire station, the ballot measure said.

The city's current sales tax is set to expire when bonds issued in 1999 are paid off, according to the city's website and mayor.

Both the sewer and the water improvements would benefit different parts of the city, not just one part of it, Mayor Paul Colvin Jr. said previously. The water improvements in particular would help the city as a whole by keeping all residents' homeowner insurance rates from going up, he said.

The city's eastern and western ends are served by 18-inch-wide water lines providing plenty of pressure to fire hydrants, but much of the development in between is tied to 8-inch lines, he said. Those need to be replaced and much of the rest of the water system needs repair, he said.

Both the water and sewer systems need expansion to sustain the city's growth, he said.

The special election ballot had five questions.

The first measure had to win approval for any of the remaining four to take effect, according to the city's ordinance calling for the election.

The first measure sought to extend the sales tax. Total, but unofficial, election results show 252 (85%) supported the question while 46 (15%) opposed it.

The second ballot question would authorize the city to refinance its remaining $3.4 million in bond debt. Total, but unofficial, election results show 255 (86%) for the issue and 42 (14%) against it.

The third measure would allow the city to issue up to $4.3 million in bonds for improvements to the water system. Total, but unofficial, election results show 254 (85%) supported the question while 43 (15%) opposed it.

The fourth ballot question would authorize issuing up to $4,425,000 in bonds for improvements to the sewer system. Total, but unofficial, election results show 255 (86%) for the measure and 41 (14%) opposed it.

The fifth question on the ballot would allow the city to issue up to $5.3 million for a new fire station. Total, but unofficial, election results show 248 (84%) supported the question while 49 (16%) opposed it. The 2-acre site for the fire station near the city park has already been purchased, Colvin said.

In all, 298 voters cast a ballot for a 9% voter turnout, according to information provided by the election commission.

Print Headline: Tontitown voters extend sales tax

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