Article Comment 

Our View: Voters say no

 

 

Starkville officials seemed baffled at why an $8.45 million bond-issue referendum failed on Tuesday. 

 

Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said he was "floored" by the meager support for the bond issue, which was planned to fund a new police station. 

 

Only 44.54 percent of voters supported the project at the polls. The city needed a super majority, 60 percent, to issue the bond money. 

 

"It's a little surprising to me," Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said. 

 

The police department and City Hall are overcrowded, old and in desperate need of upgrades. Last time Starkville officials presented a municipal facilities plan to voters, in 2006, the measure failed by just 22 votes, less than 1 percent of the vote. 

 

But a lot has happened since then. 

 

The city passed a $26 million bond issue for capital projects within the Starkville School District in 2007 and a $27.5 million bond issue to renovate OCH Regional Medical Center in 2009. Both projects hit community members in the pocket books. 

 

The municipal complex would have raised taxes another $35 for every $100,000 of residential property value. 

 

After years of increased taxes, the voters have had enough. 

 

Times are tough. And while we understand the need for upgraded facilities, we're not willing to foot the bill right now. 

 

The need clearly is there, but the police department and other city departments will have to make do for now. 

 

As Mississippi State University continues to grow, so does the city and its tax base. Economic development also is on the rise for the Golden Triangle area. 

 

Good things are on the horizon, and the opportunity to build new municipal facilities will present itself again, in a time when the market and economy are more encouraging. 

 

City officials say it will be at least two years before another plan is presented to the public. 

 

That's probably a good time frame. By then, the growing university and industrial base will have time to make a positive impact on taxes. 

 

The city can pass the added revenue on to the taxpayers, with lower property taxes. And then, Starkville residents might warm up to the idea of issuing more bonds. 

 

And while we can't predict the future, we can certainly interpret what the voters had to say in Tuesday's election: No more tax increases.

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment brian commented at 9/29/2011 3:49:00 PM:

I was shocked their police facilities are so poor, I was aware their city hall had issues.

 

Article Comment maddawg commented at 10/1/2011 9:02:00 PM:

The need clearly is there, but the police department and other city departments will have to make due for now.

Do you guys not have an editor? (Or, is that person on eternal coffee break?)

 

Article Comment jimvarnon commented at 10/3/2011 1:18:00 PM:

Thanks to the lack of parking markers and the absence of "no parking" signs, we, alnog with 78 other drivers, had our car towed away at a State game the year before last. It is an organized effort to get quick money for out of towners and the entire Starkville area is well aware of it...However, the city police were very helpful to us and we soon located our vehicle. We had to wait at the jail in order to find our car and we discovered very quickly that the city had great police officers, but the most pitiful jail in the country.. It is a crime to have that thing open. The Humane Society has to be a better place.What kind of people actually led the vote against the jail...It is wrong to ask your citizens to work in such a deplorable place..

 

Article Comment jimvarnon commented at 10/3/2011 1:18:00 PM:

Thanks to the lack of parking markers and the absence of "no parking" signs, we, alnog with 78 other drivers, had our car towed away at a State game the year before last. It is an organized effort to get quick money for out of towners and the entire Starkville area is well aware of it...However, the city police were very helpful to us and we soon located our vehicle. We had to wait at the jail in order to find our car and we discovered very quickly that the city had great police officers, but the most pitiful jail in the country.. It is a crime to have that thing open. The Humane Society has to be a better place.What kind of people actually led the vote against the jail...It is wrong to ask your citizens to work in such a deplorable place..

 

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