Just days before the deadline, Stephens County commissioners approved a proposition to add a sales tax resolution to the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
The 0.15 percent sales tax, if passed by voters, will help county fire departments and five senior citizen nutrition programs in the county. The resolution has to be filed with the Stephens County Election Board at least 75 days prior to the election.
If approved by county voters, the sales tax would stay in place for seven years. It would go into affect April 1, 2013, and would expire March 30, 2020.
The rural county fire departments could use the money to purchase new bunker gear or vehicles, cover maintenance costs for stations, and offset rising fuel costs.
Although the commissioners had previous discussed separating the funds into individual accounts, District Attorney Jason Hicks said it would be best if the separation of accounts wasn’t specified on the ballot resolutions.
“I think we need to do this in such a way there is only one account,” Hicks said. “We can’t obligate a board in the future.”
Hicks said by having the money put into one account, it would be easier to maintain. The commissioners would be able to put the money into separate accounts by voting to do so during a meeting.
This would prevent the sales tax from having to go back to vote if the number of departments were to change.
“This is much cleaner,” Hicks said. ‘There are a lot of ways this could go.”
In other action:
n The commissioners entered into an executive session with Hicks to discuss a potential lawsuit against the county by Landmark Music Productions. The board was in the executive session for more than 30 minutes.
Landmark was a member of the PRCA committee, which was not county appointed. They offered to handle entertainment for the PRCA Rodeo Gala. No details have been released regarding the lawsuit. No action was taken in the executive meeting, following its return to open session.
n Claire Murphy gave a presentation of the accomplishments of the fiscal year 2010 Community Development Block Grant. The federal grant funds come from the Department of Commerce.
“The grant went to benefit (Stephens County) Rural Water District No. 5 in Marlow,” Murphy said.
The grant provided $300,000 in federal tax dollars. The rural water district also provided $281,000 to put toward the project.
Murphy said 4,342 residents benefited from the project. She said the people in that water district were appreciative of the help the county commissioners provided to garner the grant.
“They appreciate your assistance,” she said. “They could not have done this without your help.”
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