Seligman residents to decide park tax issue
Seligman residents will decide a one-quarter-cent parks and recreation sales tax during a special election on Nov. 6.
"When our residents spend money in other cities, part of that money goes to their parks," said Seligman Mayor Duane Corn. "I think when people from those cities spend money here they should be helping us with our parks also."
In May, the Seligman City Council voted to place the one-quarter-cent parks and recreation sales tax on the Nov. 6 ballot. If approved, 25 cents of every $100 spent in Seligman will be collected to support the city's parks and recreation programs.
"For every $5,000 you spend in Seligman, $12.50 would go for parks and recreation," said Corn. "I hope people in town will come out and vote for this issue because it is basically for our kids."
Over the last three years, the Seligman City Council has budgeted numerous park improvement projects. Park upgrades have also been supported by a variety of grant programs.
In 2005, the city received a $16,234 grant from Wal-Mart, which helped finance a construction project that built the Sonny Young Baseball Field at Seligman's 10-acre park.
This year, the city received a Tony Hawk Foundation grant that helped finance the construction of a skatepark at the Elsie Corn Memorial Park.
"Thanks to Wal-Mart, grants and fundraisers we have been able to construct some real nice parks and we want to keep them that way," said Corn.
The proposed one-quarter-cent parks and recreation tax would provide the city with around $18,000 per year. If approved, the tax support would be used for maintenance, repairs and capital improvements.
"Our parks account for around one-third of our mowing and weed eating work," said Corn. "Our employees spend around 15 hours a week working at the parks. These funds will be used to not only upgrade but also maintain our parks."
In addition to supporting park maintenance and upgrades, the proposed tax would provide cash prize money for the annual Christmas parade, support monthly youth nights and provide funding for other community events.
Currently, parks and recreation activities are funded through budgeted city funds and grant monies. Capital improvements and activities are also supported by donations and fundraising events, including the annual Fall Fest and Summer Fest events, which raise around $2,000 for parks and recreation each year.