Voters to decide tax issue which includes 17th Street bridge replacement

17th Street Bridge

Feeling it should be decided by citizens of Trenton, the city council unanimously voted last night to allow an April 4th vote on a sales tax for transportation purposes.

The proposal is a three-eights of one percent sales tax which, if approved by voters, would be collected for ten years. The city has reported its first priority for the new sales tax revenue is to complete the financing package for replacement of the 17th Street bridge.

Once that money is obligated, other street improvement projects could be done.

The bridge replacement funding, so far, includes $775,000 committed by Union Pacific Railroad and a $500,000 community development block grant.

If the city wasn’t pursuing a sales tax or the issue gets defeated, city officials could be faced with returning the grant to the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Officials hope to obtain some multi-modal money from the transportation department.

But if not, the city would need to raise as much as $1,800,000 for the local share of the $3,1000,000 bridge project. While it would take a few years to generate enough sales tax revenue, the city could be looking to borrow the necessary funds and pay it back over a period of time thus incurring interest expenses.

Sales tax revenues fluctuate from year to year, however, there are estimates that a three-eighths (.0375%) sales tax would annually generate $260,000 to $300,000 dollars.

City administrator Ron Urton Junior is to develop a brochure and make presentations to service groups. He’s asking for council input on other street projects for a future list of priorities to possibly be funded with the sales tax proceeds.