Vidalia sales tax vote set for Saturday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – The &uot;City on the Move&uot; is asking voters to approve on Saturday an extra 1-cent sales tax to move its streets, drainage and water plant into the 21st century.

Residents will vote on whether to levy an extra 1-cent sales tax and whether to use it to fund $6.2 million in water plant projects and street and drainage repair throughout Vidalia.

Some streets have not been overlaid in 25 years and more than 68 percent of the town still has open ditches, which contributes to flooding problems. The water plant is more than 30 years old and in need of a new filtration system and other updates, Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said.

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Polling places in Vidalia’s four precincts will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Vidalia has 3,241 registered voters, 13 of which have cast absentee ballots.

About 25 to 30 percent of voters can be expected to vote in a special election with no other issues on the ballot, said Golda Ensminger, Concordia Parish registrar. Of those who vote, more than 50 percent would need to approve the tax for it to pass.

&uot;If the tax does pass, and I&160;believe it will, it will mean increased property values and a better-looking city our people can be proud of,&uot;&160;Copeland said.

If the tax is approved, construction could start 90 days after bonds were issued. Overlaying of streets and water plant projects would be done first. Then crews would begin drainage improvements.

In all, the improvements would take 18 to 24 months to complete. Without the tax, Copeland said, the projects might take 18 years to complete because they would be done as money was available.