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$2.5M in capital improvements get go-ahead

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Three capital improvement projects totaling $2.5 million received Springfield City Council’s approval at Monday night’s meeting, and a citizens committee formed to oversee the Police and Fire Pension tax may also be charged with reviewing the funds that cover the cost of similar projects.

At the beginning of Monday night’s meeting, Mayor Jim O’Neal suggested the Citizens Tax Oversight committee be given the added responsibilities of overseeing the capital improvement and transportation taxes. The suggestion was made, he said, because of questions raised during the July 12 first reading of the three capital improvement bills.

The projects considered additional funding in the amount of $260,000 for the Reforestation Program, $1.5 million improvements to the intersection of National Avenue and Trafficway Street and $740,000 to make improvements on Fremont Avenue and at the Fremont and Cherokee intersection. Funding would come from the quarter-cent capital improvement sales tax reserves, which were created when revenues exceeded expectations or through savings on construction projects.

“I think this is an excellent example of why we need the taxpayers’ oversight committee to be looking at the quarter-cent sales tax and the ways the money is raised, and spent, the reserves that are created or the lack thereof, maybe, in some cases,” O’Neal said.

Two of the bills, related to the National Avenue and Fremont Avenue projects, received unanimous approval from council members. The bill that adds funding for reforestation was approved 8-1, with Councilman Nicholas Ibarra dissenting.[[In-content Ad]]

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