THAYER -- A one-half cent sales tax will be on the April 7 Municipal Election ballot in the city of Thayer.
Thayer Police Chief David Bailey was at a meeting of the Thayer City Council Jan. 7, and asked the council and mayor to place what he called a Designated Law Enforcement Tax on the ballot.
"The police department realizes the city budget is tight. There is a definite need for this money in our department and we understand that our department has needs that cannot be met by the city," Bailey said.
Alderman Al Clark asked why Bailey didn't ask for a county tax instead of just a sales tax in the city of Thayer.
The aldermen were not sure how a county tax would work and decided that keeping the sales tax a Thayer issue would be for the best.
"It might even take some of the strain off our budget sometime down the road," Alderman Mike Harber said.
Bailey answered that was correct. "Three or four years after the tax is in place the police department may not need as large of a budget as we are now receiving from the city," Bailey said.
The police department currently operates on a $250,000 budget. If the sales tax should pass, Mayor Merle Williams said the tax would generate approximately $200,000 a year.
"Our city budget is going to have to have some relief. We can't do everything with nothing," Clark said.
Bailey told the council he had researched possible grants that could help the police department and was basically told that due to the shape of the economy such grants no longer existed.
Williams said if the tax should pass, all of the funds generated would go specifically to the police department.
Oregon County Clerk Gary Hensley said the last day for final certification to get an issue on the April Election Ballot is Jan. 27.
In other city council action, the council voted to hire Ozark Fence Company to build a fence around a portion of the recently completed sidewalk on Highway 142 east. There is a steep ravine along that portion of the sidewalk and laws say it has to be fenced. Mayor Williams said it will take approximately 150 feet of fence.