Dearborn ready to try tax increase proposal again

Previous measure rejected by voters

The Dearborn Board of Aldermen is mulling over the ballot language to place a new one-half cent sales tax proposal on the April 2014 election ballot. The tax would fund maintenance on the City’s parks, including the ballfields and the new community center. Longtime Alderman Bill Edwards pointed out that the Board needed to get to work to promote the benefits of the tax, as the last time it was placed on the election ballot it was shot down. “It’s important that we try to get this passed,” Edwards said. “We need the money to support what we have down there (at the park).” He said while some people had expressed the opinion that the community center would someday be self-supporting, he doesn’t see how it ever could be and the tax funds will be needed to support it for some time. The revenues from the tax would be dedicated to maintaining these park facilities, and the City attorney will look into the ballot language used during the City’s previous attempt. The tax last time was included on residential utility sales, and the Board agreed it would make the tax more palatable for voters if such a provision could be removed. Discussions on the community center dominated much of the meeting. The Board approved the creation of a three-member community center board, with two possible nominations for the board already lined up. Alderman Bob Bryan updated the Board on the center, which still suffers from a few problems. As no one has been able to determine how many keys or copies of keys may have been given out or made by contractors or subcontractors during construction, the City may wish to change the locks at a cost of about $513. Mayor Jamie Morey reported that earlier Monday evening, he had been to the community center building to show it to a potential event renter. He discovered the hot water pipes had frozen up during the extreme cold, and was taking measures during the meeting to get them warmed up. After the meeting, he planned to return to the center to get the matter sorted out.