Posted: Jan 30, 2018 9:41 PM CSTUpdated: Jan 30, 2018 10:53 PM CST
By Alexis Zotos, Reporter
Residents in Eureka will vote on a sales tax increase this April in an effort to raise money for public safety including flood prevention.
The Board of Alderman voted to put a half cent sales tax increase on the ballot for Proposition E. It would raise $1.38 million dollars a year for public safety. Eureka City Manager Craig Sabo said the funds would be used for a new police department, flood prevention and infrastructure.
Alderman Steve Grzyb supports Prop E but has concerns and abstained from the vote at the board meeting.
“It’s about accountability it’s not about Proposition E, I asked for a comprehensive plan, we haven’t had one since 2003,” said Grzyb.
Grzyb says there are several things that need that funding. He lives above Main Street and believes many would like to see it used to prevent future flooding.
Businesses have rebuilt and reopened after the 2017 flood. Currently the Army Corps of Engineers is working on studying what can be done to prevent future disasters.
Sabo says part of the hope for Prop E funds is that they will be used to secure additional federal and state grants for flood prevention and infrastructure. One thing many residents want to see fixed is the bridge at Allenton Road.
“If you don’t have a big truck you’re going to scrape your car. You can barely over the bridge, it’s a big pain,” said Nicholas Charlton who drives over the bridge.
Grzyb says that’s why a comprehensive plan is needed. He believes it would cost around $100,000.
“Here’s the question so if we have 20 million dollars over 20 years, is the first thing I’m going to fix going to be flooding? Is it going to be the bridge? Is it going to be traffic control because that’s crazy? Is it going to be a police department?” asked Grzyb.
The police department was built in the 1980s and according to Sabo, the police force has quadrupled while the population has tripled in those years. There is already a piece of property adjacent to the current property where a new department could be built.
It will be up to voters to decide on April 3.
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