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Bismarck Aldermen ponder half-cent sales tax

Mayor Seth Radford and the Alderman Dan Smith discuss city business at the June meeting.


The Bismarck Board of Aldermen convened Tuesday evening for its monthly meeting. After a tax hearing to set the city tax rate at 0.4787 per $100 assessed valuation and 0.1506 for public health purposes, the council then opened the business portion of the regularly scheduled meeting.

A discussion of the city placing a proposal for a ½ cent sales tax on the ballot in April to support the police department took place. The issue would be called Prop P and would enable the city to remain competitive in salary and equipment in the future.

Discussion of the 900 block of Center Street, the old four-way building, brought out concerns dealing with the building’s structural integrity. To the untrained eye, it looks like it is ready to collapse and is an eyesore. Owners of the building failed to appear at the meeting to discuss their position. The council agreed to continue pursuing all legal options available to them to rectify the dire situation.

Bismarck will be pursuing a MoDOT Transportation Alternatives Program grant for sidewalks, extending the current ADA-compliant section in front of 600 Center St., which is Ray’s, along eastbound Highway 32, connecting the school, and continuing down eastbound 32. The potential cost is $275,000 and would be an 80/20, state and city split. Radford was optimistic about the city’s chances. The ordinance to pursue the grant was unanimously approved.

The aldermen recognized recently-graduated senior Tanner Martinez, son of Eduardo and Katie Martinez, for his accomplishment at the SkillsUSA National Championship. He and his SkillsUSA partner, Carter Shepard of Potosi, placed first in Urban Search and Rescue robotics. All schools in the nation were eligible to participate. They represented UniTec Career Center. Tanner graduated this past May and will be attending Jefferson College in Hillsboro, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with plans to transfer to Missouri S&T. Mayor Seth Radford expressed appreciation for representing the city so well.

Moving on, the council approved the monthly financial statement, approved payment of the bills, and approved the purchase orders, which included the city buying five tasers for the police department at a cost of $3,000 a year for five years. The purchase also includes $1,000,000 of liability insurance per taser.

Business licenses were approved for both Fresh and Clean and The Tackle Box, and a liquor license for 5% beer and consumption was approved for The Trax.

The council then went into closed session to discuss personnel issues.

After the closed session, it was learned that there were several personnel changes to the police department. Officer Anthony Bowles has resigned, Officer Chris Griffin has moved to part-time, Officer Scott Lahay has moved to full-time, and Officer Miranda West has moved to full-time.

The next regular meeting of the Bismarck City Council will take place Sept. 20 in the old train depot.

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