At long last, early voting begins Tuesday in the special Harrison city election asking voters to approve two sales taxes for construction of a community recreation center.
Early voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Nov. 5-8, and again Monday, Nov. 11, at Boone County Election Center at the corner of West Central Avenue and South Cherry Street in Harrison.
Boone County election coordinator Beckie Benton said there are six ballot marking machines set up at the Election Center. There are also three check-in stations when voters arrive.
Photo ID is required to vote. Anyone without a photo ID at the time can have one made for the purpose of voting only at the election center. You can also vote on a provisional ballot if you simply don’t have your ID with you at the time, but you must take your ID to the Election Center by the Monday after the election for your vote to be counted.
The city proposed the center earlier this year. Mayor Jerry Jackson said interest rates are so low at present that the city could get a good deal on financing, but there is no guarantee rates will remain low.
The proposed $39.9 million facility depends on voters approving a 0.75% sales tax to finance construction of the facility through the sale of bonds. If voters approve, revenue from the tax will go directly to a bond trustee to see the bonds are paid and the tax will expire when they are paid.
Voters are also asked to approve a 0.25% sales tax to maintain the center after construction, as well as to acquire, construct, improve, expand, equip, furnish, operate and maintain new or existing park and recreation facilities. It would be a permanent tax.
Because the two issues are separate questions on the ballot, one could pass and the other fail.
Officials have said that if the 0.75% temporary tax passes and the 0.25% tax fails, they will have to consider the next move because there would be no additional money to operate and maintain it. The city won’t be required to levy the larger tax if the smaller one fails.
If the lesser tax passes and the larger fails, the revenue would be used for existing parks facilities.
Election day is schedule for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Election Center will be open, as well as Woodland Heights Baptist Church on Gipson Road.