Letter to the editor: Part of sales tax should be used for infrastructureA group of citizens circulated petitions and presented these petitions to the City Council asking the City Council to use one-half of the 1 percent sales tax money now used for economic development and use it for our city infrastructure.
By: Clarice Liechty, The Jamestown Sun
A group of citizens circulated petitions and presented these petitions to the City Council asking the City Council to use one-half of the 1 percent sales tax money now used for economic development and use it for our city infrastructure.
In a ballpark estimate upgrading our sanitary and storm water sewer systems alone is going to cost the property owners millions of dollars. Utilizing this one-half of 1 percent to increase the percentage the city pays toward improvements to our infrastructure would go a long way toward paying for the city’s share of any improvement project. The effect would be fewer dollars having to be raised through other taxes.
Yes, sales tax dollars are being used for the wastewater treatment plant now. Why? Because the plant was built to a larger capacity to accommodate development growth in the Jamestown/Stuts-man Development Corp. Food Park. The city of Jamestown did not need the larger capacity. JSDC has not had any further growth in its food park.
There is an argument that questions if it is right for those who shop Jamestown and who don’t live here to pay for our general infrastructure. When we go to another city, we pay a sales tax for their projects — infrastructure included.
There is also the issue of getting these funds out of the control of the county government. When John Grabinger was on the City Council, we (the council) passed three resolutions — one of which stated that the city could have control of the sales tax money for any project that did not have county money involved. The county commissioners rejected all of our resolutions.
Just recently the county commissioners voted against using $42,000 of the sales tax money for the repair of the road east to Cavendish Farms. The JSDC Food Park is just east of Cavendish. As it is now, the county has complete control over the sales tax funds.
Jobs are important. Today, along with jobs, there is also the importance of having funding available for a functioning infrastructure system (sewer and water) for our community.
There were about 1,100 people who signed the petitions that were turned into the City Council. The ballpark cost figure of repairing our sewer systems alone is evidence enough that we should not ignore these petitioners.
(Liechty is mayor of Jamestown)