I hope everyone had a chance last week to look at the ballot for the April 4 election. If you did, you saw that the City of Rock Port is asking for a 1/2 cent sales tax for transportation. Have you driven around Rock Port lately? You know, we have several streets that are in dire need of being replaced.
Currently the city has a tax which is estimated to generate around $113,443 for 2017. Of that $81,000 will go to the current street bond, leaving only $32,443 to be used for street improvements. This is a drop in the bucket. In 2000 when the city replaced the street on the east side of town it cost $1.25 million with the average cost per square foot running $116.83 per square foot. If you look at what the city crews have been able to do in 2015 and 2016, the city spent $215,141.70 on concrete street replacement, averaging $4.15 per square foot. That was not a typo – $4.15 per square foot compared to $116.83 per sq. ft. For years the city aldermen have worked with the money they have available to them, to patch or lay asphalt over existing concrete street, and this has not worked.
The new tax would generate around $113,000 in addition to the current tax collected, giving the city an additional $145,443 to continue replacing and upgrading the city’s streets. This tax would be a sales tax with over 50% of the money coming from the I-29 and US Hwy. 136 intersection. More taxes are not what we want to see, but here is a case where the majority of the money collected would be paid for by the people traveling up and down I-29. How this would look: currently on a purchase of $25 the sales tax would be $2.05 and with the increase you would pay $2.19, a 14¢ increase.
The City Alderman have been making big strides to improve the street conditions for Rock Port, but $32,000 does not leave them with enough money to make street improvements on an annual basis. The quality of the street affects the quality of life for me and you as a resident. They are vital to our growth and vital to our emergency personnel as well. It is important to continue making these much needed improvements around the community. Be sure to get out and vote on April 4.