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Despite a suggested reduction to the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's proposed allocation from Sales Tax H, the Jefferson City Council approved a resolution with proposed uses for the funding.

The resolution is a rough outline for potential projects should the city's half-cent capital improvement sales tax be renewed in August. It is not binding.

Sales Tax H will appear on the Aug. 3 ballot.

The city estimates the half-cent sales tax would bring in about $5.6 million annually over its five-year span for a total of $28 million.

City Administrator Steve Crowell said the allocation is based on the same percentage as Sales Tax G, but with individual dollar amounts adjusted to reflect an expected increase in revenue.

Of the estimated $28 million, public works would receive the largest amount with $16.5 million allocated over five years.

Public safety would receive $5.6 million with $3.3 million going toward the fire department and $2.2 million to the police department.

The resolution has $2.8 million going to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, $560,000 to Information Technology and $2.5 million to economic development.

Councilman Scott Spencer, Ward 3, recommended an amendment to move $1 million from the parks department to public works for work on the Ohio Street bridge and the street overlay program.

Councilman Mike Lester, Ward 2, asked what impact removing $1 million from the department would have on the parks master plan.

"The short answer is, it would have a significant impact on our master plan process going forward," Director Todd Spalding said. "This money is identified from the master plan that was completed three years ago. There's lots of things we need to do to make our parks equitable for all and that's the reason for that master plan and the reason for the funding, and what our commission has chosen to do moving forward."

Spalding said the next phase of work based on the parks master plan focuses on various trail connections, plans for two parks, the ice arena, an inclusive park and a botanical garden in collaboration with the Jefferson City Master Gardeners.

The recommendation failed 8-2 with Spencer and Councilman Derrick Spicer, Ward 4, voting in favor of it.

Spicer also questioned why the fire department's allocation is larger than the one for the police department.

Crowell said it is based on the allotments in Sales Tax G and not any specific projects from either department.

Councilman Jon Hensley, Ward 5, asked whether anybody on staff or council had heard from either department about the suggested allocation. Nobody spoke up to say they had.

In addition to the departmental funding, the city works with Cole County to fund major projects each five-year cycle of the tax.

The city and county would each contribute $5.5 million to the projects for a total of $11 million.

The four priority projects in the resolution would address: the High Street viaduct for $5 million; pavement, sidewalk and width adjustments to the Stadium Boulevard corridor for $3 million; two-landing Monroe Street for $1 million; and economic development/grant matching for $2 million.

Council members voted 8-2 in favor of the resolution with Spencer and Spicer voting against it.

"This resolution is not binding on future councils. In fact, Missouri law prohibits that type of action," City Attorney Ryan Moehlman said. "Essentially, what the city council is doing with this type of resolution is saying, 'voters, if you pass this, this is how we plan to allocate this money.' If there is a change in those percentages or any allocation or any project identified you better be sure that you can explain to the voters why you're making the change and that it is justified."

Other business

Council members approved:

- Adding yield signs to Cedar Way before entering Adams Street.

- Adding a stop sign on Tanman Court already on the road to city code.

- Changing parking in the 700 block of East Miller Street from the north side of the street to the south side.

- Changing an easement in the 200 block of Madeline's Park Circle to account for an existing building.

- Rezoning 14.32 acres in the 3700 block of West Edgewood Drive for the development of assisted and independent senior living.

- Establishing codes for restricted road access on portions of West Edgewood Drive.

- Rezoning 0.22 acres in the 500 block of East Capitol Avenue for mixed use as a business and event center.

- Authorizing a construction agreement with Parking Lot Maintenance LLC and a grant amendment with MoDOT for the purpose of constructing the apron maintenance and remarking project at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.

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