by Clay Herrmann
In an 11 to 2 vote at the March 14, 2016 meeting of the Garland County legislature, the Quorum Court approved presiding County Judge Rick Davis’ call for a Special Election to be held on June 28, 2016 for a 0.625% county sales tax, to pay off bonds to be issued “in the maximum aggregate amount of $54,695,000”.
Details of how the nearly 50+ million dollars will be allocated to various projects is not contained in the Special Election Ordinance NO. 0-16-13. Previous to passage of the ordinance, however, Judge Davis in advocating for the measure did distribute information (presumably non-binding) indicating that after the thirty (30) million that would be slated for a county contribution to AHTD for an extension of the MLK bypass to the Highway 5/7 junction north of Hot Springs, twenty (20) million would be for an assortment of projects (some possible projects have been listed but none are confirmed pending determination by a yet to be formed committee) across the county with a portion of the funds dedicated to benefiting each of the four cities in Garland County (Hot Springs, Mountain Pine, Fountain Lake, and Lonsdale). The balance (maximum $4,695,000) would be for bond issuance fees and related expenses.