Trumann hopes to pass tax increase for well project

Trumann hopes to pass tax increase for well project
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Just months after a higher than usual iron concentration was found in Trumann's water, the city hopes to secure funding for a new well.

According to Mayor Barbara Lewallen, the city council passed two ordinances aimed at funding a new water well.

"One is to levy a one percent sales and use tax within Trumann," Lewallen said. "The second ordinance was to authorize a special election in order to put this levy on the ballot for voters to decide."

Lewallen said on Tuesday the Arkansas Department of Health said the city needed to develop a new well due to the aging of the current ones, which are 65 years old. 

Although the high concentration of Iron in the water did not make it unsafe to drink, Lewallen said they have to face the possibility of something going wrong and leaving them without a reliable source of drinking water.

"Rather than wait until something does happen, we want to go ahead and develop the well," Lewallen said.

She said the reason the city is pushing for the tax increase is because developing a new well is expensive and the city does not have the money to fund it.

"The estimate we got was approximately $450,000," Lewallen said. "That's just developing the well. We hope the people of the community understand that this is not a move to burden anyone. It is a move to improve our community over a long range plan."

Last year citizens voted to refinance a bond that generated $2 million.

She said many people might wonder why the city is not using that money for the well project.

"The bond money is allocated for specific uses and cannot be used for anything else," Lewallen said.

That money went to projects such as renovating the library, which is complete, and resurfacing streets.

Lewallen said there is a list of other projects that need to be done; however, the water well is the primary one.

The special election will be held in September.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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