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Marion may use sales tax to pay off new street bonds

Staff writer

Marion city council members are contemplating issuing $1.875 million in bonds to be paid for with proceeds of a three-quarter percent sales tax imposed 21 years ago to pay for improvements in the city’s industrial park.

Of the bond money, $850,000 would be used for the industrial park.

“You guys have had 20 years to do this,” council member Ruth Herbel said Monday.

The sales tax has instead been used for such purposes as paying salary for an economic development director.

The rest of the money from the new borrowing would pay for 10 city blocks of street work.

Streets on the to-do list include Kellison St. from Coble St. to Eisenhower St.; Coble St., which needs repaving after recent work on a housing development; and S. Roosevelt St. to improve ambulance access to St. Luke Hospital.

City administrator Roger Holter projected proceeds from the sales tax would exceed $248,000 in 2022.

Mayor David Mayfield asked council members to consider which other streets they would like to work on and bring a wish list to the council’s next meeting, July 11.

Although issuing bonds is only a discussion and no vote was taken, Holter said he would contact a bond advisor.

State law permits a loophole method to get around a requirement that limits how much debt a county or city can incur if bonds are issued for road work. Under the loophole, the city or county can issue bonds for secondary arterial highways if the bonds do not exceed 2% of assessed valuation.

No vote by residents is required. Residents have 60 days to circulate petitions to force a vote.

The county used that method in February.

Last modified June 29, 2022

 

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