St. Edward

Special sales tax election ballots due in six days

Only six days remain for St. Edward voters to cast their ballots on the community sales tax proposal.
Ballots are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and will be counted at that time in the Boone County Clerk’s office.
This is a special election on adding a one-half percent city sales tax within the city limits to fund a portion of the construction cost for a new St. Edward Community Building.
Ballots were sent to all 371 registered voters in St. Edward on Jan. 22. As of Tuesday, Feb. 5, a total of 170 ballots had been returned to the County Clerk’s office.
An official sample ballot for the election is published again this week in the St. Edward Advance public notices.
The official ballots must be mailed back or returned to the courthouse by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in order to be counted.
In addition to returning by mail, the ballots can be taken directly to the County Clerk’s office or deposited in the drop box on the west side of the courthouse in Albion.
The building plans were presented twice at public meetings earlier in January. The plan calls for a 90 x 96 foot steel building to be built on a lot located across the street east of the football field. Cost estimate for the current plan is $1.3 million.
The additional half cent sales tax would be expected to raise an average of $32,000 per year over 20 years, funding a city-issued bond of $460,000, plus interest.
A state grant would also be available to the city. Based on population, the amount of this building grant would be $562,000.
It would also be necessary to raise about $300,000 through a fund-raising campaign.
Deadlines are tight for the project. Special election results will be known on Feb. 12, and the grant application is due Feb. 15 to the Nebraska Civic and Community Financing Fund.
Planning committee members have said the deteriorating condition of the present community center has created the need for a new building. The present building has structural deficiencies and does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.
The new building would have a capacity of up to 520 people, with tables and chairs, whereas the current community center has a capacity of 220 people.
If the new structure is built, it would be used by St. Edward Public School as a site for activities and practices during the week. The school would pay a rental fee for use of the facility, and an annual rental fee of $10,000 has been discussed.
The city’s grant application for the building will score higher if the building is used by more than one governmental entity.