Mandan sales tax uses could focus on growth needs

2014-04-25T11:33:00Z Mandan sales tax uses could focus on growth needsBy LEANN ECKROTH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

MANDAN, N.D. — The Mandan City Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday about how it should use its sales tax to meet demands from increasing growth. Options could be a north side fire hall, a north side public works substation building, major renovations to City Hall and upgrading the city's collector road system.

City Administrator Jim Neubauer said Friday that no decisions will be made at the work session, but it will guide commissioners about what their sales tax priorities could be for future meeting votes.

Neubauer said commissioners increased how much sales tax revenue will be be used to buy down property taxes from 40 percent to 50 percent for 2014.

He said $250,000 of sales tax revenue is now earmarked for economic development. A majority of the sales tax revenue is used to help fund infrastructure projects in the city — roads, water main and other utilities.

City staff project that Mandan will raise about about $2.54 million in sales tax revenue in 2014. Neubauer said it is steadily increasing. City records showed in 2012 that Mandan collected just under $2 million in sales tax and earned nearly $2.37 million in 2013.

Neubauer said the city's growth to the north should put new demands on city services. Discussions have started about adding a third fire station to the north. "We know there is a need there," he said.

He added that the existing public works building in south Mandan is experiencing space issues. Equipment is stored long distances away from north residents and businesses. Its space is limited. Neubauer said a second public works building could make services more efficient.

The Mandan City Hall, formerly the World War Memorial Building, has experienced a series of utility problems. The city had to replace boilers and its air circulation system in recent years.

City offices have been housed in the basement since the mid-1970s, Neubauer said, and its age is showing. "It's not a space issue as much as configuration," he explained. "We want to look at layout options. We have so much unused space there." The building might be in need of roof repairs, duct work and plumbing upgrades, he said.

The city commission has completed a series of north-south collector roads using the sales tax, special assessments and federal road funds, but must choose what road projects must be phased in next, Neubauer said.

Sunset Drive, Collins Avenue and Mandan Avenue have been done for the north-south routes.

Yet, Neubauer said, commissioners may look at aging utility/street repair needs for Mandan’s downtown area. In 2015, the city may add traffic signals at 40th Avenue and 46th Avenue on the "Strip." Other projects being studied are reconstruction at Old Red Trail and street/curbside projects near the elementary school, he said.

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.

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