Fort Smith Voters to Decide on Aquatic Park and Other Projects

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An aquatic park and new fire station are on the ballot in a Fort Smith special election. Voters will soon decide if they want to approve an existing 1% sales tax to fund the projects.

Early voters made their decisions in the special election Monday afternoon. Six questions are on the ballot.

"I hope the aquatic park works out because our city is big enough and our kids need it," says voter Iris Bull.

In a recent survey of Sebastian County residents, Fort Smith City Administrator Ray Gosack says the aquatic park, complete with a lazy river, was the most requested project, but now it's up to voters to approve it.

"We want to hear from as many people as possible so that we know what the will of the community is regarding these projects," says Gosack.

Renewing the tax would also include a new fire station at Chaffee Crossing making response times quicker for firefighters.  In order to fund any of the projects, Gosack says voters first have to vote yes to renewing the bonds.

"If people vote against that question tomorrow, then we will not be able to issue bonds for any other new projects on the ballot even if those projects receive a majority of four votes," says Gosack.

Regardless of the vote, Gosack says the sales tax will remain at 9.25% until previous bonds are paid. He estimates it will take an additional two years to pay off those bonds.

Other items on the ballot include tax use for fire department and parks and recreation, wastewater improvement, and water improvement.

To find a sample ballot of the special election...log on to our website...5news online dot com....and look under top stories.