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Taxes, floods and education key issues on Tuesday

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tuesday is election day in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Scott and Perry counties.

Leading the issues is the proposed parks and storm-water tax in the city of Cape Girardeau. If approved, the half-cent retail sales tax would raise $25 million for upgrading parks, the city's golf and pool facilities; replacing parks and recreation department equipment; and 12 storm-water abatement projects.

City-issued bonds would allow work on most projects to begin before the end of the year. Three-fourths of the tax would repay the bonds and expire after 10 years. The one-fourth remainder would be used to pay for ongoing operating costs.

Supporters created a Web site, advertising campaign and made multimedia presentations to service clubs and the public.

Perry County voters will decide two tax issues:

* Proposition A is a one-quarter-cent sales tax that would fund county law enforcement. It would generate more than $500,000 in the first year, helping pay to replace the jail's 20-year-old security and intercom system, add an animal control officer to the sheriff's department and pay rising fuel costs.

* Proposition B is another quarter-cent tax. Half of the estimated $523,000 to $578,000 annual proceeds would help fund the youth programs; the other half would help pay for the county's senior services such as meal delivery and transportation. The tax would add a penny to every $4 purchase or 25 cents for every $100.

Voters in the villages of Allenville and Whitewater, which each have populations of less than 125, face separate but related ballot initiatives to issue bonds for $950,000 apiece. If approved, the money would pay to construct a shared sewage collection system.

Perryville residents face choosing a new mayor in nearly a quarter of a century, after Robert Miget died Dec. 15. He'd been mayor since 1984 and served on the city council since 1980.

In Jackson, four incumbent aldermen are running unopposed. In Delta, Chaffee and Oran, city board candidates are calling for action on sewers and flooding issues. The only contest in the city of Cape Girardeau is over the Ward 5 seat being vacated by Matt Hopkins.

School board races seem to have drawn the most interest -- in every case, races have more candidates than openings. Five are competing for the three seats on the Jackson School Board; winners will take on keeping the district competitive and technologically current. Seven hopefuls are vying for the Cape Girardeau School Board's three seats. Among Cape Girardeau's issues are prioritizing capital improvement plans and lowering the district's high dropout rate.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127


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MeLange

You do more investigating reporting in your free time than SOME professional reporters employed by this newspaper. I appreciate your attending meetings and unearthing the real facts.

-- Posted by conservababe on Sun, Apr 6, 2008, at 12:17 PM

Vote Yes! We'll just see how progressive this community is.

-- Posted by vietnamvet on Sun, Apr 6, 2008, at 7:16 PM


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