City Coun­cil Asked To Elim­i­nate City Tax Col­lec­tor Po­si­tion

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Me­gan Davis McDon­ald County Press

Tax Col­lec­tor Judy Pen­der­graft ap­proached the South­west City Coun­cil again last week to sug­gest the city elim­i­nate the lo­cal tax col­lec­tor po­si­tion and opt to have taxes col­lected by the county.

She ex­plained that a city col­lec­tor is paid 7 per­cent of all taxes col­lected — per­sonal, real es­tate and busi­ness li­censes. The county only with­holds 5 per­cent.

It was pre­vi­ously noted there would be an ini­tial fee of $5,200 for the county to update its soft­ware to in­clude city taxes, but both city and county taxes would be re­flected on the tax state­ment, as­sur­ing all taxes are paid.

Presently, to ob­tain a ve­hi­cle tag, only proof of paid county taxes are re­quired. If the county col­lec­tor is re­spon­si­ble for both city and

county taxes paid, an in­di­vid­ual will have to pay both be­fore ac­quir­ing a ve­hi­cle tag.

The county would cut the city a check monthly, de­tail­ing what taxes have been col­lected.

Pen­der­graft pre­sented this in­for­ma­tion to coun­cil mem­bers last year, but they opted to keep the po­si­tion lo­cal to pro­vide em­ploy­ment in the com­mu­nity.

De­spite this de­ci­sion, Pen­der­graft noted that no one chose to run for the po­si­tion so, as the in­cum­bent, she was as­signed the job. She plans to re­tire from the role next year.

“If it will give our town more money, I think we should do that,” she said. “Elim­i­nat­ing the po­si­tion would need to be voted on in the up­com­ing elec­tion.”

Mayor David Blake asked City Clerk Missy Zinn to re­search elec­tion in­for­ma­tion, but no de­ci­sion was made.



Mayor Blake spoke about the re­cent pub­lic meet­ing to dis­cuss trail plan­ning in South­west City. Blake said he is still re­search­ing costs of var­i­ous pedes­trian bridges as a pre­lim­i­nary mea­sure for grant ap­pli­ca­tions but noted he was pleased with the turnout of the meet­ing.

The wa­ter depart­ment re­ported re­pair­ing a leak at 408 Park Drive.

Al­der­man Tam­mie Martin in­quired about the city’s pro­to­col re­gard­ing con­demn­ing struc­tures.

Po­lice Chief Bud Gow said there is a city or­di­nance which al­lows him to de­clare a prop­erty un­in­hab­it­able if it’s de­ter­mined to be a harm to oc­cu­pants or oth­ers.

But, Gow said, the or­di­nance has no teeth.

“We can’t tear the struc­ture down, but — if some­one moves back in — I can cite them for each day they oc­cupy the prop­erty,” he said.

The coun­cil dis­cussed the mea­sures nec­es­sary to clean up a va­cant prop­erty in town.

Clerk Zinn re­viewed the trail grant time­line, then asked coun­cil mem­bers to con­trib­ute any ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion they have.

Al­der­man Ron Jack­son in­quired about a bill in the amount of $8,000. Zinn said she spoke to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the busi­ness and was told the bill was for an­nual main­te­nance of the wa­ter tower, such as re­paint­ing and ster­il­iza­tion.

Jack­son said he doesn’t re­call a bill in that amount for years past and asked for doc­u­men­ta­tion of the city’s con­tract with the busi­ness, as well as the terms and du­ra­tion of the con­tract.

Coun­cil mem­bers dis­cussed the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for a bas­ket­ball court at Blanken­ship Park. The board de­ter­mined a 30-by-40-foot court would best suit the city’s needs. It will need to be made of a 4-inch slab with a 4,000-pound mix, re­in­forced by a 3/8-inch re­bar mat on two-foot cen­ters.

The coun­cil agreed to re­quest bids with these specs.

Zinn no­ti­fied the coun­cil of a build­ing per­mit re­quest. The First Bap­tist Church is re­mod­el­ing the build­ing to ac­com­mo­date the ad­di­tion of a Head Start Cen­ter on the premises.

At a pre­vi­ous meet­ing, coun­cil mem­bers unan­i­mously agreed to stall the is­suance of per­mits un­til a new build­ing per­mit process is estab­lished.

Mayor Blake said he has been speak­ing with a lo­cal city in­spec­tor and hopes to have more in­for­ma­tion soon.

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