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Sales tax for Rosston brought up to council

By Staff, 04/13/21 9:54 AM

ROSSTON – Members of the Rosston City Council were encouraged to think about what a sales tax should be used for, along with how much the city should seek as a sales tax.

This was done at the April meeting of the Rosston City Council Monday. Rosston Mayor Dale Quarles said the idea of a sales tax hasn’t been forgotten, but the council needs to decide what it should be used for. In prior meetings, there has been discussion about using a sales tax for a city park. However, Quarles informed the panel he wants this to be a permanent tax, not one that will expire when its purpose has been completed. He also said the council should think about how much the sales tax should be, suggesting either one or one-and-a-half cents, but no more than 1.5 cents.

Quarles said the wording on the ballot is important and he’s been talking with an attorney about it.

It was brought up the city had considered a police substation. Quarles said it would be expensive, and admitted the ball was dropped on this idea, saying it was because of COVID-19.

The sales tax will be discussed at the council’s May meeting on May 10.

In other business, Quarles said work has begun on the water project with a crew working inside the water tower, sand blasting it and relining it to meet Arkansas Department of Health requirements. Once the interior work is done, the tank’s exterior will be painted. This project should be done by the end of the month, he added, but this will depend on the weather. A fence will be erected around the tower once the project is done, but the cost will come from the city’s general account.

Additionally, he said, the replacement of water meters will begin in early May. The two projects could overlap, with work on both being done at the same time. Quarles said the last reading on the current meters will be programmed into the new ones, which should be more accurate. He pointed out the new meters can detect any water going through them and will record it as water being used. However, he added, the new meters will also record the time the water is being used which will help detect leaks.

The council was informed City Hall can still be expanded, but the city will have to pay for it in all likelihood. When the city applied for a grant to renovate City Hall the grant was denied. No price was discussed Monday night, but Quarles said he’s talked with the Bank of Delight about getting a loan to do the work, along with talking with an attorney about how it can be done and the process required. The Bank of Delight, he told the council, is willing to work with the city and it’s time to start modernizing City Hall.

The city, he continued, has two certificates of deposit (CDs) at the Bank of Delight and these should be used to work for the city to get things done. He said the CDs mature every two years, and the city won’t lose them.

A bank account has been established to purchase a new fire truck for the Rosston Volunteer Fire Department. The city received a grant for $68,900 to be used toward the purchase of a new truck. Quarles said the choices of which truck to buy have been narrowed down to two.

Bids have been taken on a new mower for the city. The council approved going with a Kubota riding mower to be purchased from Hope Tractor.