Voters passed a 5/8 cent sales tax extension yesterday with a vote of 992 FOR votes and 152 AGAINST votes. 86.71 percent of voters voted in favor of extending the 5/8 cent sales tax for upgrades to the Water Treatment Plant.
Thank you to all City residents who exercised their privilege to vote.
The needed Water Treatment Plant upgrade will be an estimated $31 million. Newer technology will increase efficiency in treating water. Aging equipment between 25 and 60 years old is obsolete and causes costly repairs and maintenance. The most recent upgrade to the plant was in 1992. Upgrades will include a new water line from the Illinois River to the plant. Currently there is no back up should the existing 62 year old line fail. The plant will also switch from chlorine gas treatment to sodium hypochlorite, which is safer for the community.
The existing 5/8th cent tax is collected in retail sales, restaurant sales and services. Non-residents who come to Siloam Springs to shop pay a share of the existing 5/8 tax.
The City paid off the bonds for the previous $20 million debt for the Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade in 12 years, which was originally a 20-year bond issue. (This is the current use of the 5/8 cent sales tax).
City staff will present a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the design of the water treatment plant upgrades. From the RFQs a design firm will be chosen. Work for the design of the upgrades will take approximately one year. After a completed design and construction contract is accepted by the board of directors, construction will begin on the upgrades to the water treatment plant.