Special Election Could Determine City Improvement Schedule

March 28, 2005 – Posted at 2:49 p.m. CST

TRUMANN, AR -- A special election Tuesday could make a big difference in one Region 8 community. Residents in Trumann will go to the polls to decide whether or not the city will continue a sales tax that has financed several improvement projects over the last few years. The bond must be approved before the city's fire, police, water, sewer and parks departments can do work and make improvements.

City officials say this tax is the only way for the city to grow.

"It is not a new tax. It is already on the books and we are just redoing our bond issue and I want to stress that it is not a new tax," said Mayor Ronnie Harrison, "And if it does not pass, they will still continue to pay for this one-cent sales tax."

"A lot of people have said that we need to provide activities for our children," said Parks and Recreation Director Sharron Turman, "If we don't provide activities for them now, then we might as well add onto our jail in the years to come, because every child needs something to do to keep them busy."

The city wants to keep kids and families busy with a skate park and small water park.

If Trumann residents pass the city sales tax, it could mean big money for the town. Revenue would generate almost $2 million dollars over the course of eight years. City officials say they know exactly where they'll spend that money.

The fire department only has two working pump trucks for the 8,000 folks in the community.

"It costs money to operate a fire department. And the only way we can really do it is to keep this one cent sales tax," said Fire Chief Rick Winkles.

And while the cost of a new truck is in the hundreds of thousands, saving a life is priceless.

"We've actually got to a house fire and couldn't pump with it. So we had to come back to the station and get another truck," said Winkles.

"It's money that we need desperately for these projects," said Harrison.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. Voting will take place at the old community center on Main Street.