By Katie Dahlstrom
---- — CLINTON - Clinton voters will answer two questions on their November ballots that will determine how the city of Clinton will pay for mandated sewer improvements.
During the Clinton City Council meeting Tuesday, council members approved two ballot measures relating to the city’s use of tax dollars for the $23 million in sewer work the city will face from fiscal years 2018 to 2025.
The first asks voters to grant the city permission to reallocate the 50 percent portion of the Local Option Sales Tax that is used for property tax abatement to streets and sewer work. If the voters approved, it would allow the city to use $1.5 million of LOST revenue for sewer work while using the remaining $1.5 million to continue the city’s pavement management program.
If the voters turned down the measure, the city would lose the pavement management program unless it came up with another way to fund it.
The ballot measure will read, “Shall the city of Clinton, Iowa be authorized to reallocate proceeds generated by the local option sales tax from the purposes of property tax relief and sewer/street/wastewater treatment plant construction and reconstruction in equal shares to the single purpose of sewer/street/storm sewer construction and storm sewer construction?”
The second referendum will ask voters to increase their taxes by allowing the city to add a capital projects tax levy, which also will go towards the $23 million in sewer work and the debt associated with that work.
Tax payers would see another 0.675 mills added to their taxes from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2039.
Voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” to, “Shall the city of Clinton, Iowa be authorized to levy a tax for the purpose of funding a capital improvement program to support capital projects associated with the sewer and storm sewer systems in the city of Clinton, including the payment of debt service associated with sewer and storm sewer projects, at the amount of 0.675 mills, for the time period of twenty-five (25) years, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2039?”
Both measures received unanimous approval from the council to be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
At-large Councilman John Rowland noted the public’s opportunity to decide the city funding.
“Whether you vote for it or against it doesn’t really matter to me. I think the mere fact that voters’ wishes are being given a chance to be expressed through the ballot box is a good thing in our system of government,” he said.