Gene Eagle, co-chairman of the Kick Start Lonoke Infrastructure committee, presented a tax increase option for the investment of city infrastructure during a presentation at the June 12 Lonoke City Council meeting.
As part of the Kickstart Lonoke’s Infrastructure team action plan, the committee recommended a one and half percent sales and use tax increase to repay a new bond issues for public investments. Some of the needs included but are not limited to the interchange, streets, sidewalks, drainage, drinking water, sewage, police, fire, bike trails, lighting, animal shelter, library, museum, senior center and youth soccer.
The committee recommended that a special election be held and if passed, one percent of the one and half percent sales tax be mandated to a sunset once the bond issue is retired and the remaining half percent remain as a permanent, dedicated revenue stream to provide funding for community and essential government services.
In addition, the committee recommended the water usage fees be evaluated as the secondary revenue stream to support a new bond issue. According to Eagle, time is of the essence due to limiting legislative and interest rate risks.
No action was taken by the council.
In other business, the city opened bids for water tank renovation and maintenance on June 8, according to Water Superintendent Jim Kelly. Two bids were received. The highest bid was from Maguire Iron of O’Fallon, Missouri for three installments of $130,433 per year over the first three years and an additional payment of $22,400 increasing to $28,098 per year for the remaining six years of the ten year agreement.
The lowest bid was from SUEZ-Utility Service Company of Perry, Georgia for three installments of $119,034 per year for the first three years and an additional payment of $19,430 and increasing to $23,939 per year for the remaining six years of the ten year service.
By unanimous vote, the council approved the bid of SUEZ-Utility Service Company of Perry, Georgia.
Also during the meeting, the council unanimously voted to:
-Authorize by ordinance, the city to obtain financing from Ozark Bank in the amount of $71,310. for the purchase of two 2017 Dodge Charger police cars and a 2017 Dodge Durango SXT from Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep.
-Allocate an additional $25,000 to the well project
-Engage with Stephen’s Inc. for bond services.
-Authorize the police department to spent up to the $300 to paint the caged area behind the police department.
-Table discussion of the property at 214. E 11 street until the August meeting.
-Table discussion of 509 Reynolds until the next meeting.
-Table all watch list and new properties being considered for condemnation until the next meeting.
Before close of the meeting,Michael Florence asked the council to confirm once again that the council did not want to use the graphic design created for the new city logo. Janie Derning made a motion to reject the new logo and keep the city’s current logo, which was seconded by Pat Howell. Derning, Howell, Efrem Jones, Raymond Hatton and Wendell Walker voted in favor of the motion. Florence voted against the motion. The motion passed 5-1.
Koy Butler and Woody Evans were absent from the meeting.
The next Lonoke city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 10 at city hall.