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story.lead_photo.caption (File photo) The Holts Summit Board of Aldermen focused largely on planning around a public safety and law enforcement tax, and decided to form a working group to focus on collecting data about the tax, which would consist partly of City employees.

The Holts Summit Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Tuesday night to continue discussion of a public safety and law enforcement tax, and decided to form a working group to focus on collecting data and present solutions on the topic.

In new business, the board passed an ordinance approving the 2021-22 liquor license applications for the city. The approval was moved from the June 8 aldermen meeting to Tuesday to give residents ample time to fill out necessary paperwork, as the city can’t authorize business licenses without paperwork submitted, City Clerk Rachel Anderson said.

The board also authorized a change order in a contract between the city and Ryan Construction for the Wastewater Improvement Project — this time for a decrease of $85,474.80 to a total of $5,911,198.23 — as City Administrator Hanna Thomas said the project engineers are “fairly close to completion of the project,” and the city is signing a certificate of substantial completion to reimburse the workers.

Sewer Department Superintendent Keith Edwards said the sewer department has a working south line being connected to Jefferson City’s sewer line today. He said the goal is to start transferring 750 gallons of waste this week or next week.

“Right now, we have the capability of pumping one million gallons a day,” said Edwards, adding his relief for the sake of Holts Summit residents the project will soon be finished. “I’ll be glad to get everybody hooked up.”

The aldermen focused largely on discussion of the public safety and law enforcement tax the rest of the meeting. The overarching opinion from last month’s meeting among aldermen and public commenters was to use budgets in each department as much as possible, but if a property tax is implemented, to educate residents so they know exactly where their money is going. Also, in dealing with a complex issue, Mayor Landon Oxley recommended they collect data to inform how population would affect the tax and help residents make informed decisions.

At suggestion of HSPD Lt. Brandon Ruediger, they decided on starting a working group that would help with both of these issues.

The group will consist of Alderman Mike Harvey, Ruediger, Thomas, Anderson and a fifth member. Possibilities for the fifth member included a resident of Holts Summit who could apply for the position through a link on the city’s Facebook page, a member of the business community or the Holts Summit Community Betterment Association.

The board also said it would like to hire a research company that could help create data to coincide with the property tax. Alderman Chris Redel emphasized it would be a good long-term investment.

“As far as hiring a company, that’s probably a pretty wise investment,” Redel said. “I’m not a property tax expert. It will be good if we can have somebody evaluate long term what revenue that’s going to bring.”

Mayor Oxley emphasized even though it could cost money to hire a professional and could take a prolonged amount of time — such as adding the property tax to the ballot — this is something he wants to get right.

“You can’t rush something like this,” he said. “Whoever we can get with to help us out will be worth it. I really want to see what we can do.”

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