By Ann McCreary
A proposition asking Twisp voters to authorize an additional retail sales tax of 0.2 percent to fund transportation improvements in town will appear on the Aug. 2 election ballot.
The Twisp Town Council approved a resolution on May 10 to put the sales tax proposition before voters in the August primary election.
The sales tax would fund a new Transportation Benefit District, a special taxing entity, created by the Town Council to pay for street maintenance and improvements within Twisp.
The transportation district boundaries are the same as the town boundaries, and the Town Council serves as the governing board.
The new sales tax would generate an estimated $45,242 for the district, which will fund street maintenance and repair projects that the town is currently unable to afford.
If approved by voters, revenue from the sales tax would start being collected in early 2017, and the district would begin receiving revenues in spring.
Among other things, the money would be allocated for emergency road repairs and sidewalk and storm drain repairs. The money would also be used for reserve funds for equipment and vehicles used in street maintenance, and to provide matching money for state and federal transportation grants.
Twisp public works officials prepared a list of future projects that would be funded through the transportation district, such as repairing potholes, sealing cracks, pavement striping, and chip sealing sections of numerous streets in town that have gravel surfaces.
In other business at last week’s council meeting, Police Chief Paul Budrow said efforts to hire a lateral officer — one with previous job experience — for the third officer position were unsuccessful, so the town is advertising for an entry level position, which will close on May 31.
The town increased funding in its budget this year to expand the police department from two to three officers.