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Registration for bond vote ends today

August 26, 2011

By CARL SMITH
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

Today is the last day unregistered voters can visit the Starkville city clerk and register for the Sept. 27 municipal complex bond referendum.
The city clerk’s office will remain open until noon to accommodate last-minute registrants, and voters will need to bring a picture ID with them.
As of Friday afternoon, city officials said only six people had registered to vote. Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the low number was expected because most local voters had already registered in time for ongoing county elections.
Starkville aldermen approved the September bond vote during a special Aug. 9 meeting. If passed, the $8.45 million bond would go toward the construction of a 26,000-square-foot police station at the intersection of Highway 182 and Jackson Street. The building would cost $5.28 million — $200 per square foot — while the cost of land, stormwater development, parking requirements, landscaping, fixtures and insurance would cost a little over $3 million.
If funded, planning and design would begin in October, construction would begin in July 2012 and the building could open the following year.
Currently, the city’s millage rate is at 20 mills, a rate which Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said was one of the best in the state during the previous board of aldermen meeting. A proposed 3.49-mill increase would be needed if the bond issue passed.
Under the potential increase, a resident who owns a $150,000 house would pay $52.35 extra in taxes per year — 14 cents per day — while the owner of a $300,000 house would pay $104.70 extra per year — 28 cents per day.
The second phase of the master plan calls for a $2.9 million renovation to City Hall and the construction of a $1.92 million annex at the current police station’s parking lot. The total estimated cost of phase two is $5.95 million.
Only funding for the first phase of the two-phase development plan is currently up for vote. Aldermen have not said when the board will consider funding avenues for phase two.
During the board’s last meeting, aldermen unveiled a new website — http://www.cityofstarkville.com/masterplan/ — for citizens to use as an informational resource on the municipal complex and City Hall plans.
A tax calculator is available on the website and provides an exact tax estimate for the proposed millage increase.

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