Maumelle Mayor Mike Watson called an emergency City Council meeting Tuesday to consider calling a special election on renewing the city’s bonds in a Sept.11 election.
Watson said the election needed to be held by that September date to issue the bonds in time to continue the current millage rate.
But opposition developed on two different fronts.
Some council members said they didn’t see the need for the rush, although they admitted the planned capital projects listed have been in the city’s plans for years.
Steve Mosley of the Maumelle Residents Coalition organization have campaigned against his plan and they also questioned the need for the rush.
The proposed ordinance was scheduled to have been heard at 6 p.m. Tuesday, which is after the Monitor’s press deadline.
Watson said the 6.6 property tax mills the city pledged toward paying off the construction bonds for the new police and fire buildings began in 2005 and stand to be retired this fall.
He also said state law requires tax rates to be certified by Oct. 31 and because the city of Little Rock has an election scheduled for Sept. 11, he said there were some economies if the two elections were held together.
Total cost of the election and the issuance of bonds for the projects outlined would be $26,590,000.
The existing 6.6 ad valorem tax on taxable personable property would continue without interruption if voters approve it.
Each project would have to be voted on individually. They include a proposal to spend $3,235,000 to improve, extent and repair Counts Massie South Road and Crystal Hill Road. Each street would be widened to Master Street standards including sidewalks, bike paths and drainage.
Another $9,830,000 would be earmarked to expand Counts Massive Road to the new third entrance to Maumelle off of Interstate 40.
$1,679,000 would be slated for new City Council chambers that would double as a courts chamber, repairing the roof of Maumelle City Hall and upgrading facilities there.
A long-awaited indoor swimming pool would be designed, acquired and constructed for $ 9,375,000.
A new fire station on the south side of town would be budgeted for $2,480,000.
Mosley said in an e-mail that Watson’s plan "is to run this proposal quickly past the City Council in a special meeting this Tuesday night, July 10, and have a special election in September to have the voters approve it. As we all know, the City always tries to get tax votes done in special elections so that they can have early voting at the Community Center and get their supporters out to vote while the average resident forgets to vote."
He said he asked for a November special election so the most people could participate.