Plan calls for slight changes in 1-cent sales tax distributions
By VICTORIA CALDERON
• Leader & Times
The second item on the short agenda at Saturday’s special city commission meeting was Strategic Planning. This item took up the bulk of the three-hour work session that took place.
City manager Mark Hall presented a plan on how to improve the community to the commissioners. This plan started taking shape several years ago, and is hoped to take effect by 2021. And every well thought-out plan, of course, begins with proper financing.
Hall discussed the distribution of the 1-cent sales tax for the plan. Following is the percentage of the fund for each portion of the plan:
• 60 percent for Streets, Drainage and Capital Improvements
• 15 percent for Housing
• 15 percent for Economic Development
• 5 percent for Crime Prevention
• 5 percent for Beautification
This new tax plan showed a decrease in Economic Development and increases in both Streets, Drainage and Capital Improvements and Housing from the previous tax plan.
These shifts in the money distribution reflects what Liberal needs to invest the most in, according to Hall.
“We saw movement where we saw priority,” he said.
Specific ideas and areas for improvement within each of those five categories were discussed at length. Some examples of the myriad topics up for discussion were speeding, the expansion of parks and the omnipresent Dorothy statues.
Hall gave a packet containing all the reading materials concerning the Strategic Plan to each commissioner. Each category (Housing, Economic Development, etc.) within the packet had a sheet of paper that listed every single component under the city’s jurisdiction that was to be reviewed for improvement. Hall asked the commissioners to, on the sheet, indicate what issues they were most interested in investigating further.
As with most major projects, the new plan starts with the city and requires plenty of early thought. And, as Hall pointed out at the meeting, “The strategic plan is just a big vision of where we’ll be or what we want to be in the future.”