Lowell residents weigh in on sales tax extension

KNWA

LOWELL, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There’s a special election in the city of Lowell surrounding a sales tax extension.

First Baptist Church is the only location residents can come and cast their ballots Tuesday. Residents will decide for or against extending an existing 1-percent sales tax.

The extension would be for an additional 9 years and would raise about $2.5 million a year.

Half of the funds would go towards city improvements for streets, parks and drainage projects. There are also plans to add a pedestrian crosswalk for safety.

Lowell Mayor, Chris Moore says sales taxes are the lifeline of the city and the improvements to the infrastructure are necessary to keep up with the growth of Northwest Arkansas.

“We can make capital improvement on intersections such as 71-B as we have planned, a roundabout on 264 and Belview, there’s a sewer project that we are working on as well in Sabor Heights. So we have lots of infrastructure plans in place,” said Moore.

He adds it will also help the city better handle severe storms like it experienced these past few weeks. Moore says the city has significant damages from the recent storms and floods.

In fact, the city reports about 8.5 million dollars in damages and has since applied for assistance from FEMA.

Moore says a bridge and several roads were washed out and engineers identified several culverts that need to be replaced.

“What it would be on our side is getting larger pipes, or culverts installed to be able to move that much water so that way we are not flooding streets and not flooding homes but we are passing it into a creek where it should be instead, of course, destroying things,” said Moore.

The remaining half of the capital would be used to fund police and fire departments.

The sales tax was first approved back in 2011, and has since been extended.

Doors open at the Lowell First Baptist church at 7:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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