Voting record of improving Cape Girardeau

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am so proud of our Cape Girardeau voting citizens. I find, as I reflect back over voting history, that our citizens have voted positive on numerous issues that have meant so much to the future of our growing city. This history review was prompted by the overwhelming 80 percent positive vote to approve the funding methods to build our much-needed wastewater treatment plant.

Walk with me, if you will, through past voting records and the results of each particular vote.

August 1986 and November 1988: Bond issue and sales tax for storm-water and flood control.

There have been numerous times over the years that this decision has "paid for itself" by preventing major flooding within our city limits. This was evidenced again in the last month with another "hundred year event."

November 1988/1990 and April 1994: Sales tax and bond issue for sewer improvements.

These funds enabled our city to replace and expand necessary sewer infrastructure and a large project to separate storm-water from wastewater.

August 1995/2000/2005/2010: Half-cent transportation sales tax

This sales tax trust fund has been embraced by our citizens four times over the years since its inception. This has been a unique plan as each plan sunsets after five years; there is a definite plan for specific projects and the funds are restricted to those plans; and all plans are for street and street related projects. We have completed and/or have in design over $70 million in projects to date that would have been impossible to complete through general revenue.

November 1996: Revenue bonds and sales tax for water improvements

This vote upgraded our water system to allow the construction of our Water Plant on Cape Rock Drive. This was another key infrastructure improvement for our city.

June 2004: Quarter-cent fire sales tax

This vote accomplished many needed improvements in public safety for both the Fire and Police Departments. It met many unfunded needs in police and fire equipment. It enabled the city to construct our new station and Command Center on North Sprigg and retire the inadequate and outdated station on Emerald Street.

February 2007: $.15 library tax

This enabled our city to expand, renovate, operate and maintain a state-of-the-art facility for a city of our size. Community utilization of this facility continues to show substantial growth.

April 2008: Half-cent sales tax for parks and recreation improvements and storm-water control

A tremendous community effort resulted in funds to do many things in this area. Highlights include the very successful Cape Splash, complete renovation of the Jaycee Municipal Golf Course, expansion of the Osage Center, renovation of the Arena Building, and the building of our new Shawnee Park Center.

April 2011: Extension of sales tax and bond issue for new Wastewater Treatment Plant

This project was absolutely necessary as dictated by the Department of Natural Resources along with the age and capacity of our 50 year old current facility. Much improved technology will allow this facility to operate with greater efficiency and better control future operating costs.

Many of our past and current dedicated city leaders have led these efforts over the years, and our voting citizens have responded in a positive manner to this effective planning. My thanks to all who continue to assist in making our great community of Cape Girardeau a vibrant and growing city.

Harry E. Rediger is the mayor of the city of Cape Girardeau.

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