Ton­ti­town vot­ers to de­cide today on sales tax is­sue

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - SCAR­LET SIMS Scar­let Sims can be reached by email at ssims@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @NWAS­car­lets.

Ton­ti­town vot­ers will de­cide today whether to in­crease the city sales tax to pay for a new wa­ter provider.

Vot­ers can cast bal­lots on the pro­posed 0.75 per­cent sales tax in­crease from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 110 E. Henri de Tonti Blvd. Only vot­ing machines are avail­able on elec­tion day.

Early vot­ing started July 5. As of Mon­day af­ter­noon, seven bal­lots had been cast dur­ing the spe­cial elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton County Cir­cuit Clerk’s Of­fice. The early vot­ing has gone smoothly, said Jen­nifer Price, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the Wash­ing­ton County Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

The sales tax is pro­jected to bring in about $45,000 per month to pay for a $7.8 mil­lion wa­ter line con­nect­ing the city with the Benton-Wash­ing­ton Re­gional Public Wa­ter Author­ity, city of­fi­cials have said. The tax would sun­set af­ter the bond is paid in about 30 years. If vot­ers ap­prove, the city’s over­all sales tax would be 10.5 per­cent, up from 9.75 per­cent.

The city would stop us­ing Spring­dale as its main wa­ter source and build a 7-mile line along the right of way of Henri de Tonti Boule­vard to­ward Cham­ber Springs Road to con­nect to the author­ity. The author­ity pro­vides wa­ter from Beaver Lake to 13 cities.

The five-year con­tract be­tween Ton­ti­town and Spring­dale stip­u­lates a cap of 18 mil­lion gal­lons per month or 600,000 gal­lons per day.

Ton­ti­town pays $3.28 per 1,000 gal­lons to Spring­dale as of Jan. 1, up from $3.07 per 1,000 gal­lons last year. The author­ity has a flat rate of $2.34 per 1,000 gal­lons.

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