West Fork, nestled in the Ozark Mountains, is ten miles south of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a half-hour drive to the home offices of Wal-Mart and Tyson. West Fork is nearby to popular destinations such as the Crystal Bridges Museum, Beaver Lake, Devil's Den State Park with hiking and biking trails, and the War Eagle Mill Arts and Crafts Fair. West Fork was founded in the 1880s on the banks of the West Fork of the White River. Founded by the timber industry, milling, and railroad commerce, our historic homes, parks, library, Farmers Market and community events preserve a small town feel in an area of rapid growth with a diverse and an expanding economy. Our beautiful Ozark Mountain scenery, mild four seasons, one of the best school districts in Arkansas, and opportunities for employment, recreation and higher education, make West Fork "Where the Best Begins".
The Mayor and the City Council is asking the residents of West Fork to consider the addition of a 1 cent sales tax at a Special Election this year. The city, including all of our department heads, have looked closely at our budgets, our ability to keep up with the yearly needs and to be able to budget for three and five year plans. These needs include equipment, vehicles, technology, building maintenance, personnel, training for our staff, upgrades to our facilities, services to our residents and emergency needs that we encounter. Currently we are budgeting a year at a time with little or no money to be put in reserve for future anticipated use as a budgeted item and not as an emergency need, which is what we currently do. The following information is an overview of the yearly uses of the additional one cent sales tax, how the funds from that tax are broken down and the amount of money it will generate.One cent will generate approximately $222,970 per year.The City proposes to use ¼ cent for the Police Department $53,000 per yearThe City proposes to use ¼ cent for the Fire Department $53,000 per yearProject funds of ¼ cent for three capital improvement projects will generate $839,028 for use to add to the library, remodel the Community Center and remodel the City Hall . The maturity date for those bonds to be paid off is year 2042. The remaining ¼ cent will generate $53,000 that would go into the General Fund for distribution between the remaining departments for equipment, in-service training, technology, maintenance, salaries for additional personnel, upgrades and purchase of equipment, vehicles, etc.The ¼ cent for Capital Improvement projects could have a sunset clause upon completion of the payback on the bonds for the construction projects. That would reduce the sales tax by ¼ cent when those bonds are paid off. We will give you specific information on needed budgeted items for our departments in future posts. Our Department Heads have specific needs for this additional sales tax. We will continue to supply information on the use of this 1 cent sales tax and how it benefits our community and how it will allow us to serve you better. Please consider this sales tax as a needed income source for West Fork. Thank you,Charlie Rossetti, Mayor