STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
GRANITE SHOALS — When Granite Shoals residents sit in on a town hall meeting Oct. 14 on the road bond, they should leave with some solid answers on how it affects their property taxes.
The city of Granite Shoals is holding the meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Granite Shoals Fire Station, 8410 RR 1431 West. The town hall is designed to answer questions about the road bond before voters head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 7.
On that date, Granite Shoals residents get the opportunity to “reconfirm” their commitment to authorizing the debt for road improvements.
Last year, voters approved a $3 million road bond that was the matching part of a multimillion-dollar grant city leaders believed Granite Shoals would be receiving from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the federal government revealed after last year’s vote that the most it could fund was closer to $50,000.
City officials had hoped to use the bond money and anticipated federal grant for repairs and upgrades to Granite Shoals’s three main thoroughfares: Phillips Ranch Road, Valley View, and Prairie Creek. After learning the federal grant would be far less than they were initially told, Granite Shoals officials scaled back the scope of the work.
Instead of using the $3 million in bonds approved last year for the scaled-back projects, city leaders wanted to make sure Granite Shoals residents were on board with the idea.
During the upcoming town hall, City Manager Ken Nickel said officials will tell attendees about 10-year and 15-year bond options and impacts on property taxes. The information will also will reflect the annexations of Beaver Island and Webb Isle.
“We’ll talk about what we’re trying to do,” Nickel said. “We have to be neutral. We’ll bring out what we have and have facts. We want citizens to bring their questions.”
If voters reconfirm the bond during this year’s election, the money will be spent on Phillips Ranch Road, Valley View, and Prairie Creek.
Nickel said samples of each road have already been given to engineers so they can recommend the proper materials that will last for at least a decade.
“If the bond gets reconfirmed, we’ll be able to move forward,” he said. “We should have this project completed by this time next year.”
Early voting for the Nov. 7 general election is Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-Nov. 3.