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Stormwater, sales tax issues added to New Bloomfield ballot

Stormwater, sales tax issues added to New Bloomfield ballot

January 16th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

A car speeds past the city limit sign for New Bloomfield.

Photo by Emil Lippe /Fulton Sun.

NEW BLOOMFIELD — New Bloomfield City Council members voted Monday to place two issues on the April ballot.

The first is a street and stormwater bond. Voters will decide whether the city should take out a loan to finance street and drainage improvements around town. The loan would be paid back through the real estate and personal property taxes, council member Rosemary Augustine said.

"We used state engineers to calculate everything and they figured out we needed about $680,000," said Mayor Terry Shaw.

The money could be used for everything from filling potholes to resurfacing streets. A clear plan for how to use the funds will be laid out within the next couple of meetings, Shaw said.

The second ballot issue will put to vote whether the city should increase the local sales tax by 1 cent, bringing it to 8.25 percent.

"Holts Summit is at 8.75 percent," Shaw said. "We're not at the top and not at the bottom, but we're low for a city of our size."

New Bloomfield last passed a sales tax increase in 1989, Augustine said.

Council members passed two other ordinances Monday. One permanently moves council meetings to 6 p.m. the second Monday of each month to accommodate the schedule of new city attorney Nathan Nickolaus. The second approved carrying out the city's annual audit by a particular law firm.

Council member Bryan Manes was absent from the meeting, so the council decided to hold off on one final item of business: setting a time to meet with State Auditor Nicole Galloway for what auditors call an "introductory interview."

In April, New Bloomfield residents circulated a petition requesting Galloway audit the town's finances following controversy about the town's budget. The petition passed the 100-signature minimum in May.

Shaw said the council will meet with Galloway within the next month.

Municipal elections are April 2. The last day to register to vote is March 6, and the last day for candidate filing was Tuesday.