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December 19, 2013

Economic development sales tax awaits Council, DAEDF agreement

DUNCAN — Duncan residents won’t see a ballot for the economic development 1/2 cent sales taxes, voted on every 5 years, until at least April.

The Duncan City Council, at request of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation Board, tabled the sales tax and a resolution for an election during Tuesday’s special meeting. Duncan City Manager Jim Frieda said this request reflected the foundation’s desire to work on language in the resolution.

“As far as representing the resolution setting, we can’t really meet until after the (Jan.) 1st,” Frieda said. “Next week’s regularly scheduled meeting was canceled because it falls on Christmas Eve.”

Frieda does have plans to meet with the foundation chairman, which he hopes will give him more insight into status of the sales tax. Toward the end of November, foundation members attending the City Council meeting to discuss possibly splitting the 1/2 cent sales tax, with 50 percent going toward economic development and 50 percent going toward infrastructure improvements for the City of Duncan.

Among the infrastructure improvements were an increase in water supply and improvements to Duncan streets.

“Basically, we’re talking about using it on infrastructure items that would promote economic development,” Frieda said.

The sales tax was first approved by Duncan voters in 1994, as a way to promote economic development in the city. If the City Council approves the election resolution for the 1/2 cent sales tax during its Jan. 14 regular meeting, the resolution period to make a March election would have passed. This means it wouldn’t be until April the City of Duncan and DAEDF could bring the resolution to a vote to gain five more years on the 1/2 cent sales tax.

Frieda said the resolution is dependent on the City Council reaching an agreement with the foundation on the contract, the City Council approving the resolution to bring it to a vote and Duncan residents approving the presented resolution.

He said he will know more through his meeting with the foundation chairman but is hopeful for a positive result.

“I think it will work for us,” Frieda said.

Calls from The Duncan Banner to Lyle Roggow and Ben Herrington, both with DAEDF, were not returned.

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