Fulton citizens to vote on half-cent parks/stormwater sales tax

10 months 3 weeks 1 day ago April 01, 2016 Apr 1, 2016 Friday, April 01 2016 Friday, April 01, 2016 7:06:00 AM CDT in News
By: Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON - This Tuesday, Fulton voters will decide whether to approve a new half-cent sales tax. City officials said if approved, the sales tax would raise the city approximately $750,000 every year.

This half-cent sales tax would mainly benefit the city's Parks and Recreation and stormwater departments. City officials said the money from this tax would go toward three main projects.

City leaders said the "top" project is to build a new recreation center for Fulton. The city said at minimum, this recreation center would have public meeting rooms, a fitness area and a gymnasium. City leaders said if several local organizations donate money to the cause, the city could build a much nicer facility.

In addition to funding a new rec center, some of the revenue from the sales tax would also fund stormwater improvements. City leaders said they hope to use some of this money to combat "environmental issues" with local streams, such as Stinson Creek.

In a city newsletter, Fulton Mayor LeRoy D. Benton stated that extra stormwater funding is necessary because the city has to meet certain environmental standards set by state and federal agencies.

"The National and State Regulatory agencies that regulate streams within the State of Missouri have declared Stinson Creek as an impaired stream and therefore the City is being challenged to establish methods to allow for monitoring the stream and the foreign matter that enters the stream via storm water run-off," Benton stated. "Fulton’s Engineering Department is currently working to evaluate the pollutants in the storm water and establish procedures and policies that will address the quality of storm water that enters Stinson Creek. The sales tax will provide the means to address this issue."

Lastly, Fulton city leaders said they will use remaining funds to install new curbs, gutters and storm pipes around town. Benton said he believes the sales tax would allow the city address many flooding issues.

City leaders said even with the new tax, the city would still have a lower sales tax rate than other similarly sized towns. City hall published this table in the most recent edition of the City of Fulton Newsletter.

 

Benton said he believes this sales tax increase would "address the needs of the community;" however, in his closing statement he urged citizens to be patient in waiting for the benefits of the tax.

"This tax will not generate enough revenue to immediately address all the needs that have been identified, but will allow the City to establish plans and schedules to address those needs as established by the citizens," Benton said.

The polls for the new half-cent sales tax will open in Fulton on Tuesday, April 5.

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