CITY VOTERS APPROVE HALF CENT SALES TAX FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
On August 3rd, Jefferson City voters handily approved Proposition 1, that extends the current half cent sales tax for capital improvements that is projected to raise an estimated $5.6 million annually for community projects and various city needs. Under the current plan, Jefferson City public works is slated to receive approximately 60% of the funds collected.
COLE COUNTY LOOKING AT WAYS TO ADDRESS STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
Cole County officials are in the early stages of drafting and discussing a storm water ordinance to establish minimum requirements and controls to protect and safeguard general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within the county. This ordinance would likely require that future development and construction address any storm water concerns at the planning, grading and construction stage of future projects. The County will first need to update and agree upon a map to show the applicable area to be regulation. This discussion is in the early stages and we are expecting to receive more information and provide that to everyone in the future.
JEFFERSON CITY LOOKING FOR STORM WATER SOLUTIONS USING FEDERAL FUNDS
Jefferson City officials are currently reviewing current storm water regulations, maps and cost estimates for improvements and have proposed the creation of a study group. The City has budgeted approximately $800,000 for storm water projects utilizing federal “American Rescue Plan” funds. The City has been looking at ways to address storm water runoff for many years and the biggest hurdle is always how to generate enough funds to cover the massive cost. An idea that has been suggested in the past and is once again under consideration is the establishment of a storm water utility fee to charge property owners on a monthly basis. The HBA has been supportive of a storm water utility fee in the past as this concept would allow the city to collect from all parties and not just homeowner or future homeowners. Any fee of this sort would need to be passed by the voters and that is not seen much momentum in past efforts.
MISSOURI LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY UPDATE
On Friday, August 27th, Governor Mike Parson (R) issued an Executive Order that did not extend the “disaster declaration” in regard to COVID beyond the regulatory waivers for healthcare.
The Missouri General Assembly will return to Jefferson City on September 15th for the constitutionally required veto session. The legislature is unlikely to override any vetoes issued by Governor Parson, but some debate is likely to occur on the “line item” vetoes in several of the state appropriation bill.
The biggest issues facing the legislature will be re-districting of Missouri’s eight congressional districts when they return to session in January. Currently, two bi-partisan commissions have begun working on the redistricting of the State House and State Senate districts and their work should be completed by February. February of 2022 is the opening of candidate filing and thus is the true deadline for boundaries to be drawn for the new districts.