Local issues provide choices for voters in April

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Decisions pending on fire district, money issues

Voters will decide on several local issues on the April 8 ballot.

Filings for issues closed on Jan. 27. All the issues on the ballot require a simple majority to pass.

Municipal sales taxes

Cassville is seeking a three-eighths of a cent sales tax for street maintenance. Cassville presently has three sales taxes: a one-cent for general expenses, a half-cent for capital improvements and a half-cent for park and storm water maintenance. Based on 2013 economic activity, the tax will bring in more than $300,000 a year.

Seligman is seeking a one-cent sales tax for law enforcement. Seligman presently has four sales taxes: A one-cent for the general fund, half-cents taxes for capital improvements and street maintenance, and a quarter-cent for parks. The one-cent tax would generate more than $71,000 a year, based on 2013 economic activity.

Clerk Brian Nichols said the police department has two full-time officers and would use the money to rehire two part-time officers. Money would go toward payroll and maintaining the city's two patrol cars.

"This is a pretty active area," Nichols said. "Officers have been busy with meth labs. Our officers work closely with the Drug Task Force. A lot of people go through here."

Other issues

The Barry County Village of Emerald Beach, located west of Shell Knob on a peninsula surrounded by Table Rock Lake, is seeking an increase in its annual maintenance fee from $50 to $100.

According to Rick Sleightholm, chairman of the village board of trustees, the village was established in the early 1970s with a maintenance fee of $30. The fee was increased to $50 in 1997. The village has since grown to approximately 300 homes. Funds are used for maintaining homes, roads, the swimming pool and the village hall, which Sleightholm said is in serious need of repairs.

The Washburn Special Road District is seeking a renewal of the 13-cent property tax surcharge used to maintain roads and equipment.

Fire district

Rural Monett residents in both Barry and Lawrence counties will vote for the first time on establishing a tax supported fire district. At the present time, membership in the association costs $70 a year. Passage would establish a property tax levy with a cap of 30 cents per $100 of assessed property, both real estate and personal property.

The borders extend east to abut with the Verona Rural Fire Association at Farm Road 1150 north of Highway 60, and with the Aurora Fire District's border south of Highway 60. The northern edge runs along Farm Road 2200. The western edge runs between Farm Road 1050 and Highway PP north of Highway 60. South of Highway 60 the western edge runs a rambling course south on Farm Road 1040, west to Highway 97 and farther west to Farm Road 1012. The southern edge abuts with the Wheaton and Purdy fire districts.

Six candidates are running for the five board seats: Paul Wimsatt, Jackie Harris, Leland Doss, Herman Oetker, Michael Greenhaw and Greg Carlin.

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