The Spring Valley city council unanimously approved a city ordinance Monday that would place a referendum on the spring ballot for voters to decide to increase sales tax by ½ percent.
Money received from the sales tax would go specifically for street repairs in the city. The passing of the referendum would increase the city’s current sales tax from 6.75 percent to 7.25. It also would not tax food, prescription drugs and titled vehicles and bring in an additional $65,000 of funds for repairs.
The topic was a hot debate among the aldermen to even pass the ordinance because some felt it was the wrong time to raise taxes. However, others held on to the belief that the city had nothing to lose in asking because in the end the voters would decide.
“Let them decide,” said alderman Dave Pellegrini after he voted.
The sales tax idea was started in order to bring in more money after the city’s Motor Fuel Tax funds have fallen due to a bond the city took out two years ago for a major street revitalization program. The city makes payments of $44,750 a year out of the MTF fund and is left with about $30,000 to $40,000 a year to pay for street repair projects.
In other business:
* The city approved vacating an alley that runs through the Lincoln School property. The council held a public hearing before the meeting where there were no objections to the request. Mayor Walt Marini said there were no city utilities in the alley and it was never opened to the public.
* Police chief Kevin Sangston said he did a survey of the intersection of Cleveland and Richards Streets and found it should be changed to a four-way stop. Currently, there are only stop signs at eastbound and westbound Cleveland Street.
* The city passed an ordinance authorizing the purchase of the property at 200 E. St. Paul St. for $647. City attorney Jim Andreoni said the owner of the 202 E. St. Paul St. building contacted him about purchasing the building for $1. The city plans to tear the buildings down because of a public health risk.
* The city will hold a combined water and sewer and finance meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday. City engineer Larry Good said the city would discuss its planning report for the wastewater treatment plant. The city recently received a $9.5 million grant from Governor Pat Quinn for plant repairs due to the April flood. The city also will receive $1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and less that $400,000 from the insurance company.
* The city is looking at buying a used leaf vacuum for $18,900.
* The city donated $1,000 to St. Margaret’s Hospital for its new surgical area and $500 for three years to the Small Business Development Center.