Old Town group makes sales tax pitch

Next year, voters again will be asked if they want to extend Cole County’s half-cent sales tax to finance capital improvements and roads, for another five years.

Monday, a local group made a presentation to the county commission on projects they feel could benefit from some of that money.

Old Town Revitalization Company Chairman Phil Freeman presented a list of potential projects in the oldest neighborhoods of Jefferson City.

The eight projects total nearly $2.4 million, and are mainly streetscape work on Madison, Jefferson, East High, Lafayette, West Main and Ash streets, and East Capitol and Clark avenues.

Western District Commissioner Chris Wrigley said he liked the idea of doing street and curb work, but found it hard to support projects that would include work such as planting trees because of the high upkeep cost.

Freeman said he understood and said the group would be happy to discuss with the commission any ideas they might have on these projects, should commissioners deem them worthy of being included in the sales tax plans.

In other commission action, commissioners approved several grants that the Cole County Sheriff’s Department has received.

A justice assistance grant will allow the department to purchase video cameras for patrol cars, and a mobile data terminal project grant will allow the department to get six more mobile computers.

Capt. John Wheeler told commissioners the computers would be put in detective cars and civil division vehicles. He said they already have similar computer in 28 patrol cars and have seen the vehicles’ mileage go down from 3,000-4,000 miles because deputies don’t have to drive back into the office to do reports.

Commissioners also gave tentative approval for Kauffman Enterprises of Jefferson City to build a living quarters expansion at the county’s ambulance service operation on Southridge Drive for $21,250.

The expansion would include a shower, bath and two living areas which could house 2-4 employees for 24 hours a day.

A supply room would be included in the work.

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