earborn voters will be asked to approve a half cent sales tax to help fund the financially – strapped city.
The decision to take a tax proposal to voters came at a meeting of the Dearborn Board of Aldermen Monday night. Mayor Marvin Landes said the city has tentative plans to place the issue on the ballot at the municipal election set for April 8.
If approved, the half cent tax would raise about $15,000 annually for the city’s general fund.
“We could then divert the money to the street fund or the water fund, depending on where we need it,” Landes said.
Monday’s decision comes a month after the city realized it could move money from a 1% sales tax approved by voters in 1984. That money originally went to the general fund, then somehow ended up being assigned to the street fund for years before city officials last month moved to start placing the money in the more flexible general fund again.
That 1% tax raises about $30,000 annually, Landes said.
Dearborn is in a financial crunch and last month raised its water rates by 50 cents per thousand gallons in anticipation of helping pay for a connection to Kansas City water, which is coming soon. Dearborn has incurred problems and high expenses in running its own water plant in recent years, and the city plant will be shut down once the connection to Kansas City is made.
In another matter, the city will seek permission to sell Dean Park and the city lake. The sale would be done after the city has developed a new park using the $300,000 granted to it by Platte County through the county’s half cent park sales tax.
Alderman Delba McAuley is investigating possible land acquisitions for the city. She said at last month’s meeting that her goal is to acquire 40-50 acres of land and put in a new ball field, soccer field and walking trails.
The city wants to make sure it can legally sell the existing park, which sits across the county line into Buchanan County, with no legal hassles, Landes said.
In other business on Monday: •The board voted to get rid of the old Interurban railroad car that was given to the city several years ago. Nothing has ever been done with the car, which sits in front of the city sewer plant. The city wants to use the space there to put in a storage building.
The city, on a split vote that was decided with Landes casting the tiebreaker, voted to give the car to the Lathrop Antique Park Association. The folks at Lathrop are expected to restore the car and display model trains inside of it, Landes said.
A full restoration of the rusted-out old car would have cost the city $100,000, the mayor explained. The mayor said he had received several calls from residents encouraging the city to get rid of the Interurban car, and no calls in favor of keeping it.