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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims

Linn Valley voters will decide on 1% sales tax in November

LINN VALLEY – Linn Valley residents will be asked to decide whether to implement a 1% sales tax when they go to the polls in November.

The Linn Valley City Council on Monday, April 24, decided to put the issue on the ballot in a split 4-1 vote. If approved, the tax will remain in place for 10 years and will only be used to purchase a fire truck and update public safety equipment.

The council’s decision comes after Linn Valley voters last November turned down a 2% sales tax by a narrow margin.

Mayor Cindy Smith said that the council heard concerns of voters who told them that the 2% tax was too much, there was no specific use targeted for tax, and there was no end to the tax. She said she hoped that the new proposal would get community support.

Councilman Michael Hemphill voted against putting the tax on the ballot. In a separate interview, Hemphill said he had heard from voters who still were not in favor of the sales tax.

The tax is expected to raise about $30,000 a year. It would go into effect on April 1, 2024, and end on March 31, 2033.

There was some discussion about putting the tax on the primary election ballot in August. However, City Clerk Karen Siffring pointed out that, because it would be an off-year ballot, voter turnout in August would be light, particularly if there were not enough candidates for a primary election. November’s ballot will have only city and school board candidates with no state or federal candidates

The council also voted to award a bid for the construction of the city’s new water tower to Caldwell Tanks Inc., Louisville, Ky., for $1.55 million. The company’s bid was about $137,000 lower than the $1.6 million estimate by BG Consultants, the city’s engineering firm.

Paul Owings of BG Consultants recommended the city accept Caldwell Tank’s bid, which was the lowest of four bidders.

The council also accepted and approved the résumé of Jim Mayfiled, Lamar, Mo., to be resident inspector for the water tower project. Mayfiled was recommended by Owings, however, his hiring must first receive approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency.

Councilman Lew Donelson talked about problems with gaining an easement on property through which the main water line from La Cygne to Linn Valley is slated to be installed.

Siffring said that efforts to contact owners of the property have failed so far, but she would continue to try to locate the owner.

Donelson also said that BG Consultants needs to start setting up the timeline for the sewer project. He added that he expects that to happen in the next 30 days.

He also expects for Owings and contractor Mike Page to conduct an onsite meeting at the Linn Valley Community Center soon to determine what needs to happen to connect that building to the sewer system.

The council also:

• Approved a new contract with City Attorney James Brun for $50,000 annually plus a health care benefit. According to Siffring, Brun had been working for $35,000 a year plus additional contract work beyond advising the council and prosecuting court cases. The new contract includes all of that work.

• Approved purchasing updated city accounting system software for more than $15,100.

• Accepted a bid for nearly $4,100 from Linwood Motors in Linwood, Ill., for the 2016 Ford Explorer the city advertised for sale. The lowest bid for the vehicle was more than $700.

• Heard a request by a resident in the open forum about how many acres the city purchased for the new lagoon system. Mayor Smith told the resident that the council’s policy was to not answer questions posed in the open forum. After the meeting, however, the resident was told 139.6 acres was purchased for the project.

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