All three taxes get voter OK

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 2, 2010

NATCHEZ — The City of Vidalia is ready to go to bat.

Voters voted 444 to 169 in favor of a 41-year tax renewal for the Consolidated Recreation District No. 3.

The 3.78 mil tax will generate more than $300,000 annually for the proposed $6 million recreation complex.

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The tax is a renewal of an existing recreation district tax, but the lifespan of the tax was increased to help ensure funding for the new complex that is to feature baseball and soccer fields and basketball and tennis courts.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the “yes” vote is the first step in what is sure to be a “very exciting future.”

“Words just can’t explain how excited I am over this vote,” Copeland said Saturday night. “I want to thank each and every person who got out and voted.

“I think in three years we can look back and say what a very important project (the recreation complex) was for us.”

Copeland said, like all votes, he was apprehensive of the outcome, but is proud the voters have embraced the new recreation complex project with a 72 to 28 percent vote.

“I was out at the old ballpark this week and we have 554 children on 52 teams playing at those 12 acres,” he said. “We have just outgrown the facility. The new facility is one we can enjoy 12 months out of the year.”

Also on the ballot was a 10-year, 6.94-mil tax renewal for the Concorida Fire Protection District No. 2, which passed with 81 percent of the vote.

The vote count was 385 to 89.

The tax generates $479,000 annually and covers the operating expenses for the fire district.

The 1-percent sales and use tax for the Concordia Parish School Board also passed with 81 percent of the vote.

The vote count was 1,085 to 259.

The school district tax was the only parish-wide tax and was locked in for 10 years.

Annually the sales tax generates $2.3 million, which helps cover salaries, maintenance, utilities and other expenses.