Leader Blues

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TOP STORY >> Cabot decides to keep sales tax

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

Its a landslide.
Cabot voters said loud and clear Tuesday that they prefer to pay for their new sewer treatment plant by extending an existing sales tax seven additional years rather than doubling sewer rates.
The vote to extend the tax was 927 for, 187 against.

In a breakdown of all the projects to be funded with the sales tax, the unofficial results as supplied by Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh, who was waiting as the ballots were counted, are: sewer plant, 901 for, 202 against; overpass, 724 for, 366 against; community center, 695 for, 386 against; street improvements, 787 for, 304 against; animal shelter, 768 for, 324 against.

Stumbaugh opposed paying for the treatment plant with the sales tax, and said Tuesday night that he hadnt changed his mind.

A man stands where he stands, the mayor said. I think utilities should be paid for with rates.
Still, he said he believes in the system. The voters have spoken, he said, and he is thrilled that some of the long-awaited projects can now begin.

I am so excited about this community center being built, Stumbaugh said. Im so excited about this animal shelter. And Im so excited about this overpass because were going to save peoples lives.
Alderman Odis Waymack, who with Alderman Eddie Cook sponsored the ordinance, submitting the tax extension to city voters, also waited while the ballots were counted. Waymack said he was pleased with the results that he believes are a message from city voters.

The tax was set to end when the water debt was repaid.
The approved tax extension will be used to pay off the existing $7 million debt and finance $16.5 million for a new sewer plant and improvements to sever lines, $1.5 million to build the community center which came in over budget, $200,000 for the animal shelter, $800,000 for the citys part of a federally-funded railroad overpass and $1.2 million for street improvements.