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Council votes for new district with fee


by Roger S. Lucas

Electric City residents, you now live in a “transportation benefit district.”

What does it mean?

Nothing, at least for six months to a year, and then it will cost you $20 more for any license tabs you purchase for one of your vehicles.

The city council Oct. 9, as expected, passed the new regulatory district ordinance. And it’s just a start.

“Before we can start charging the $20 fee, we have to get a couple of more ordinances passed, and organize the governing body, and establish by-laws,” City Clerk Jackie Perman said.

Income the city raises through the new tab fee will eventually go into the city’s street fund.

Electric City’s street fund has been on the slippery slope for several years, with the city spending more on its streets than it takes in.

While the city has a healthy reserve fund in its street program — about $850,000 — it continues to go down. The tab fee, city officials estimate, will generate about $25,000 a year.

A number of residents showed up two weeks ago when the council held a public hearing on the matter, and most seemed satisfied with city official responses to their questions.

Last Tuesday night, Mayor Jerry Sands rattled off a number of cities in the state that are already charging the fee. He explained that if the city did not establish its transportation benefit district, Grant County Commissioners could establish their own and the $20 fee would go to the county instead of to the city.

The matter had come up in several recent council meetings.

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