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Grant City Council discusses ways to fund future projects PDF Print E-mail

By Jan Rahn
Managing Editor
The latter part of the agenda at the recent Grant City Council meeting involved discussion on how to meet capital outlay projects and ways to fund them. One way discussed by council is to establish a city-wide sales tax.     
Council pursued the option by choosing a date in January to hold a public hearing to seek input on a sales tax. Such an initiative would ultimately go to the voters seeking approval. The city sales tax would be used for necessary projects and community betterment.
Upon the recommendation of City Attorney Phil Pierce, a public hearing was set by council to take place during their  regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The hearing is the first step in pursuing a city sales tax and will be held to gather public opinion.
A resolution would follow which would put the measure on the ballot for either the primary election in May 2012 or the general election in November.
The advantage of establishing a sales tax is to get dollars from every transaction within the city which ultimately would help pay for future improvements.
“We can do more projects that the public wants and has requested that we do if we have multiple ways of funding them,” said City Superintendent Tyson McGreer.    
Examples of what a city sales tax has done in other communities include pool projects, street projects, storm sewers, parks, etc.
According McGreer, there are many municipalities in the state of Nebraska that already have a sales tax in place to create funds to draw from when projects are wanted or needed.
Some of the city’s entities don’t generate enough revenue to make improvements possible, such as the city pool, the ballparks, the streets or sewer.
Establishing a city sales tax would not only generate some of the necessary funding, but also come from all persons in the region who take part in activities provided by the city.
Another potential project discussed by council would be to extend the economic development fund into the future.
Anyone with questions or comments about capital outlay projects or a potential sales tax may contact the mayor or any city council member: Mayor Mike Wyatt 308-352-2277, Wayne Pick 308-352-2137, Tim Pofahl 308-280-2926, Bob Tatum 308-352-8012, Kirk York 308-352-6828.
In Other Business
• Glenn Taubenheim was in attendance to represent the city’s power board in recommending a hired electrical consultant to do an evaluation of electric infrastructure for future capital outlay projects. The matter was tabled until a future meeting.
• No action was taken by council on a request by Justin Coats for a vacant utility rate adjustment.
• Council unanimously approved a keno fund request by the Perkins County Senior Center in the amount of $1,000 to help with insurance costs.
Representing the senior center were Director Tabby Cornelius, Ivan Palu and Clem and Tobe Hansen.
Cornelius said the senior center continues to try to improve the financial situation and gave the new kitchen and on-site cook as an example of strides toward increasing the daily meal count which has reached approximately 35 in addition to hosting Rotary weekly.