Barnes County Jail/Snow

At this week’s City Commission meeting, commissioners approved putting before the citizens of Valley City an advisory vote for a 15-year extension of the city’s 0.5% sales tax for funding permanent flood protection projects.

“When we first started this we were talking about a 6-8 year bill plan,” City Administrator David Schelkoph explains.

Because of a time in which oil prices were low and state legislature and budget were in tight positions for a few years, money for flood protection projects around the state began to dry up.

The money “pile” available for flood protection projects became smaller but still needed to be distributed between many ongoing projects, like those in Minot and Fargo. Every city ended up getting less than was planned because there was less money to go around.

Because of this, Schelkoph says, the 6-8 year plan originally laid out for paying for this permanent flood protection with a 0.5% city sales tax will take more time, around 15-17 years total, to pay for in its entirety.

“Now our financing plan is going to have to expand,” Schelkoph says.

The advisory vote will be on the ballot for the June 9th, 2020 municipal election, asking citizens to approve the extension of the city sales tax used for funding the permanent flood protection in the city. There will be no increase to the 0.5% rate, just an extension of the time in which that sales tax will be collected.

With that said, the city has also decided to opt out of the proposed joint law-enforcement center in the new correctional facility that the county and Sheriffs department are building. It was at the Jail Committee Meeting earlier this week that city officials told the county officials and others present that the city had decided to not relocate the police department at the facility and that it will remain where it is.

Look for the full story in today's, Friday, November 8th, edition

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