MAMMOTH SPRING -- The data connection to Little Rock appears to be the only obstacle in the way of keeping the Mammoth Spring Revenue Office open.
The office, as well as two others in the area, Horseshoe Bend and Cave City, was scheduled to close Dec. 1, but an offer extended recently by the assistant commissioner of revenue may save the Mammoth Spring office. The state will continue paying salaries and offices expenses if the city will pick up the tab for the rent, utilities and the data connection to Little Rock.
Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace last week proposed an offer to the state revenue office that she hopes they cannot refuse. "Our revenue office is located in a portion of City Hall so there is no rent and no utilities. All we need to keep the office open is the computer system phone line (data connection). I have sent a proposal to Little Rock where everyone who uses the office would be required to pay a $3 fee," the mayor said. As of press time the city had not heard if the state has accepted the mayor's proposal.
Last year 1,762 people used the Mammoth Spring office. It was one of the most used revenue office on the list of the 33 rural office scheduled to close.
The announcement of the closures came earlier this fall after an audit report revealed the closing of the offices would save the state as much as $640,000.
Pace said the city of Mammoth Spring needs to keep the local revenue office and the city could absorb hundreds of dollars of the cost of keeping the office open. "The state has anticipated the computer system phone lines to cost approximately $5,484 by June 2004. My proposal of $3 per per person would nearly pay for the data line, and I don't see why the state would not agree to leave our office open," the mayor said. The mayor said all of the fees generated from using the office would be sent to Little Rock to pay for the computer lines.