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Miami County Commissioner George Pretz asks for the Osawatomie City Council’s support of the county’s quarter-cent sales tax renewal. Osawatomie and the other three largest communities in the county did support the tax’s five-year renewal. So did voters, with 70.4 percent in favor of the renewal.

PAOLA — Miami County Commissioner Rob Roberts called the five-year renewal of the county’s quarter-cent sales tax a great success.

It’s easy to see why.

Not only did the county have the support of the Paola, Osawatomie, Louisburg, and Spring Hill city governments, it also had the support of 70.4 percent of the voters who went to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 5, to cast ballots in the general election. The renewal received 2,259 “yes” votes and 947 “no” votes.

“I’m absolutely very appreciative of the public’s support,” Roberts said. “I feel like the county has a very good plan for road and bridge improvements for the next five years.

“All four cities came out and endorsed the quarter-cent sales tax, and all four cities have put together what I think are excellent plans for how they intend to spend (their share of) the monies,” he said.

The quarter-cent sales tax represents 25 cents of every $100 spent in Miami County, not only by county residents but out-of-county shoppers who spend their dollars in the county.

The tax in the past two decades has generated more than $23 million in road and bridge improvements throughout the county. It also has helped the county and municipal governments within the county capture more than $18.4 million in state and federal grant money, according to county figures.

County commissioners have said the quarter-cent sales tax reduces the amount of property taxes needed for road and bridge improvements.

The sales tax also has provided more than $3.1 million for roadway improvements in Paola, Osawatomie, Louisburg and Spring Hill. And it has helped the county capture $1.8 million in federal and state grant funds, according to county figures.

During each five-year cycle of the quarter-cent sales tax, the cities of Paola, Osawatomie, Spring Hill and Louisburg all receive $500,000 to improve streets and other roadway-related projects.

Some of the county projects planned for the next five years include:

  • Intersection and bridge improvements at 287th Street and Osawatomie Road
  • Mill, overlay and widen Old KC Road south of Paola
  • Bridge deck polymer, mill and overlay of Old KC Road from Osawatomie city limits to 335th Street
  • Mill, overlay and widen Metcalf Road from Kansas Highway 68 (Amity Street) to 247th Street
  • Bridge improvements, Ridgeview to Lackman roads
  • Bridge replacement on Lookout Road south of 287th Street.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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