Sweet Springs council discusses Local Use Tax and raising water rates

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tom Stallings, Saline County Presiding Commissioner, discussed the Local Use Tax issue with members of the Sweet Springs Board of Aldermen at their Oct. 9 meeting.

The use tax, placed on the November ballot, is not a new tax, but a continuation of a tax collected for several years. Through a recent ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court, Internet purchases would not be subject to the same tax rates as local businesses if this does not pass.

Stallings also briefed the board on the Oct. 9 meeting in Marshall presented by the Zimmer Real Estate Group on the company's research on economic development for Saline County. They noted three primary reasons communities do not succeed in development are globalization, concepts of immigration and education.

Mayor Raymond Kinney asked the board members to review the plan from the Zimmer Group and comments will be sought.

Board members passed an ordinance allowing Mayor Kinney to appoint a committee to review applications for transient guest tax funds.

Street Superintendent Nate Lea reported the swimming pool continues to leak, and they will have to keep water in it all winter to protect the lining.

Chad Eckhoff, water and sewer superintendent, reported on the number of water line breaks that have occurred. Because of the high water loss problems, there is no money available to replace lines or purchase new meters. Members agreed water rates should be raised and water loss needs to be brought under control.

The board voted to have an ordinance written and voted on to increase the water rate from $.065 to $.070 per cubic foot and set the minimum at $9.31 for 133 cubic feet.

The monthly police report by Chief Richard Downing was approved.

Tina Bredehoeft of Sweet Springs was appointed to the Sweet Springs Library Board, a position vacated by Dee Friel.

Board members voted to sell the properties at 1214 Daisy and 503 Bridge streets in Sweet Springs, acquired from Saline County, by sealed bid. Once awarded the bid, a detailed plan will be required from the bidder on what will be done with the property and a time line. The bidder will be responsible for advertising fees and all costs involved transferring the title. Bid deadline will be 5 p.m. Nov. 13 and will be opened at the 6 p.m. Nov. 13 board meeting.

A request was granted to the Optimist Club to close Miller Street from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 for the Trunks for Treats and costume contest.

Alderman Tommy Goode asked the board to consider a change to lot requirements in the zoning ordinance when older homes are torn down. An ordinance will be written for the next meeting to reflect the planning and zoning board's recommendations and voted on.

Alderman Carl Winston said he was questioned about the condition of the property at 725 S. Locust Street. Kinney said letters have been sent out concerning the situation.

Aldermen David Goode and Friel were also present at the meeting.

The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 13.

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