Gravette council passes ordinance calling special election

GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette City Council held a special council meeting Monday evening, Aug. 28, regarding extending the city's current 3/4 cent sales tax to finance street improvement and sewer improvement projects.

Ryan Bowman of Little Rock, bond attorney with Friday, Eldredge and Clark law firm, gave a brief presentation explaining the process for refunding the city's current sales tax bonds and levying a new sales tax to fund the two projects.

Bowman explained that a special election would be called with three issues on the ballot: 1) refunding the outstanding sales and use tax bonds, Series 2017 and Series 2018, and levying a 3/4 cent sales and use tax to pay the bonds; 2) issuing bonds in the amount of $900,000 for the purpose of financing improvements in existing streets, including paving and resurfacing, and any related curb, gutter, utility, lighting, sidewalk and drainage improvements; and 3) issuing bonds in the amount of $3,800,000 for the purpose of financing extensions, betterments and improvements to the city's sewer system.

Each question will be a separate section on the ballot, but the first question, refunding the current outstanding bonds, must pass before the other two issues can go into effect.

Passage of the three issues will result in no change to the taxpayer. There will be no increase in taxes but simply an extension of the current sales tax rate.

A special election must be called now since state law requires that an ordinance be filed with the county clerk at least 70 days prior to the election and given to the Benton County Board of Election Commissioners so that the necessary election officials and supplies may be provided.

Council members voted unanimously in favor of passing an ordinance calling a special election on the questions of issuing bonds for the purpose of financing and refinancing the costs of capital improvements and levying a 3/4 cent sales and use tax for the purpose of retiring such bonds.

The date of the special election has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 14.