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Rosston looking at city sales tax

By Staff, 02/9/21 9:22 AM

ROSSTON – In order to increase city revenues and make it easier to obtain grants, the Rosston City Council discussed a city sales tax at its February meeting Monday night.

Rosston Mayor Dale Quarles told the council nothing would be coming out of anyone’s paycheck should the city pass a sales tax, but the money would be paid with each purchase made at businesses in the community. However, this announcement was only the first step as a special election will have to be held to let voters speak their minds on the subject. He said the council could decide how much the tax should be, either 1 cent or 1.5 cents.

Quarles said the tax money would initially be used to help create a city park where the baseball fields are, but this wouldn’t be the only thing the money would be used for. He told the council it would be used to help the city with other projects as well and could be used as matching funds for grants. Quarles said the wording on the ballot will be crucial to make sure it includes what the tax revenue would be used for and how it could be utilized.

At first, though, it will be used to help build a city park. He pointed out the city will also be looking at grants for this project as well. He reminded the panel the county has a sales tax as does the city of Prescott and a tax for Rosston would benefit the community.

In other business, Quarles said a park committee has been established and has met to discuss what to do with the old baseball field property. At this time, the committee is looking for money for the park, adding during the COVID crisis, fundraisers are out of the question. He told the council it is welcome to attend these meetings and suggested they talk to people in the community about what they’d like to see in the park.

The city is also looking to purchase a pickup to replace one with more than 300,000 miles on it. Quarles said he found one in Hope at Malloy’s with 113,000 miles on it for $16,500, whereas a new one would cost $60,000 to $70,000. Quarles will be contacting the dealer about the truck and the city could take a loan against one of its certificates of deposit to buy it.

Financially, he said, the city is doing well. The city started  with $41,000 in one CD and $40,000 in the other, and now has $43,000 in one and $42,000 in the other. In general, he told the council, he doesn’t want to mess with the CDs, but they could be used as collateral to buy the truck as it would be hard to get it financed through normal channels.

The final order of business was a brief discussion of online bill pay. Quarles said the city’s website is up (CityofRosston.org), and contains minutes from council meetings, the budget and contact information. It’s also set up for online bill pay, but this was put on hold due to the virus. However, it will soon be up and running so residents can pay their water bill online.