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Bond and tax need to be outlined by city

by Annette Beard | July 28, 2021 at 11:37 a.m.

City residents attended a public meeting slated for Tuesday, July 20, prior to the regular monthly City Council meeting to hear from city officials about how revenue from the request one-cent city sales tax and requested bond issue would be used.

Street superintendent Nathan See presented plans for drainage, sidewalks and street improvements.

Responding to a question from Julie Pond, See said the projects listed on the city's web site are only if the bond is approved.

"How much to you intend to get done when this fails to pass," asked Boyd McNiel.

"One project -- Hazelton Road," See said.

Police Chief Lynn Hahn said he wants body cameras. He said: "governments are passing laws saying we're going to have to have them."

Hahn also listed software as a need.

"There's many different needs. Nine computers in the office are aging. The facilities are aging and we want more less lethal stuff. We have 15 officers and only 10 tasers that are almost 10 years old," Hahn said.

Interim Fire Chief Jared Powell said staffing the department and equipment are both needs for the Fire and Ambulance service.

"The fleet is aging. The air packs are aging out -- the county purchased them 17 years ago and they have about a 20-year life," he said. He said of the 1,300 calls for the department, about 900 were medical calls. "This city's growing rapidly," Powell said. "We're seeing more and more emergencies."

"We're a combination department. I don't ever see us going away from needing volunteers," Powell said, emphasizing that the revenue would pay for medic personnel to staff the ambulance.

City officials are asking voters to approve issuing bonds to finance all or a portion of the costs of capital improvements for city streets including curb, gutter and drainage improvements, utility adjustments and sidewalks related to those improvements and a one-cent city sales tax that would repay the bonds as well as provide additional revenue for the streets, fire, police and parks departments. The election is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2021.

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