The Little Rock City Board will vote Tuesday, July 3, on an ordinance to call a special vote Sept. 11 on a 3-mill property tax to renew support for the city capital improvement bonds. The current millage is 3.3 mills, and was sufficient to pay off the 2004 bond issue of $69 million at the start of 2013, several years early. The bonds would be used for street and drainage projects.
City Director Brad Cazort hoped the board would include money for parks and the zoo on the ballot, but staff didn’t support it and neither did his fellows on the board. The ordinance will instead put two issues on the ballot, one to produce $73.5 million for street projects and the other $31 million for drainage projects, a total of $105 million to be paid off over 15 years.
Still to be decided is whether to borrow the money in stages or all at once; the latter might save the city on interest but would impose rules on how much would have to be spent during each stage.
Director Ken Richardson expressed a hope that the new street and drainage projects be carried out in partnership with companies to hire the underemployed and those whose criminal records make it hard for them to find work, an idea that City Manager Bruce Moore and Mayor Mark Stodola supported.
The election date would make it a stand-alone election. The school election is the following week.
Earlier, the city heard a quarterly report from finance director Sara Lenahan that said year to date revenues were running nearly $1 million ahead of budget, producing total revenues to date of $54.6 million. Revenues from the new 5/8 cent for operating and 3/8 cent for capital spending is $15 million to date.