Greenwood Prepares For Special Election To Help Fund City Departments

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GREENWOOD (KFSM) -- People living in Greenwood have a special election coming up to renew a sales tax that some residents say has helped keep their homes from flooding.

The three-quarter cent sales tax has made a big difference for John Vangorder who has lived in the Indian Hills neighborhood since 1997.

“Back a number of years ago, we had terrible flooding," he said. “In fact, all the houses around us went under, and ours had never gone under before, but ours went under about eight inches of water in our home, and about two weeks later we got another eight inches of water in our home.”

Vangorder said flooding was always something to worry about in his neighborhood until the city's street department cleaned out the creeks.

“The rain falls earlier this year have been a testament, as to how well the cleaning out of the creeks worked,” Vangorder said.

Mayor Doug Kinslow said before the street department`s maintenance of the creek beds, 20 to 30 homes in the Westwood and Indian Hills neighborhoods experienced major flooding.

“This tax money allows us to go out on a regular basis, clean out ditches and creeks,” Mayor Kinslow said.

According to the mayor, the three-quarter cent sales tax gives the city's street, fire and parks departments around $250,000 each.

“Our sales tax extension is very important for the fire department,” Fire Chief Stewart Bryan said. “We`ve got a lot of future needs.”

“We`ve built all kinds of parks; we`ve expanded trails all over the city,” Richard McKinney, Greenwood Parks Department Director, said. “We've put new playground equipment in; we`ve got a beautiful system set up that really improves the quality of life, so it’s extremely important that we be able to continue this on.”

Early voting starts November 3, and Election Day is November 10.

The sales tax sunsets at the end of 2016, but the mayor said this was a good time to hold a special election. If the tax passes, it'll be in place for another ten years starting in 2017.