Holly Trustees Review November Sales Tax Increase Ballot Question



The Holly Trustees decided to delay action for another month on a requested letter of support from the Prowers County Commissioners, pending additional specific information on how funds from a $0.25 county sales tax hike would benefit the Holly Fire and Ambulance District. A discussion by the Trustees during their July 11th board meeting, centered on the 20% share of profits that would be allocated to Holly should the ballot be approved in the November General Election.  The expected $400,000 annual funds from the tax would be restricted to paying only for ambulance services provided to the towns in Prowers County.

Under the plan, disbursements from the fund would be monitored by a three person board; one from Lamar, one from the County and one from the Holly Ambulance District. Lamar would receive 60% of the proceeds while the Holly District would receive 20% for management of ambulance services only and the remaining 20% will be held back for equipment costs and potential matching grants for additional purchases for ambulance related items.  The Lamar City Council has already issued their letter of support for the November ballot question.  Year-to-Date figures from the Lamar Fire and Emergency Services Department show 576 ambulance calls have been made so far in 2018, almost the same number as YTD figures for 2017.  The Holly Trustees felt more information should be available on how the 20% of the tax proceeds held in the contingency fund, could be applied to their town’s future needs.  The Holly board representative would be tasked with negotiating for funding for its district and an election for board members has been scheduled for October.

The South Main Street business address conflict between business owners Brad Simon and John Golden remains unresolved during Wednesday’s meeting. Street numbers for the building lots along South Main have the two separate businesses each at 209 South Main, with Golden having held it for several decades.  The Trustees recommended, through a motion in June, that Simon utilize a 209.5 address which he has found unacceptable.  The Town of Holly has no legal bearing to force either business to make a change.  Golden stated to the Trustees that the change would be costly, involving about two dozen different facets of his business, from stationary to insurance and tax information.  The Trustees will begin to draft an ordinance to address any similar future situation.  Meanwhile, it was suggested to John Golden, that the Trustees would consider helping defray his financial costs if he were willing to make an adjustment.  Golden indicated he would consider the idea pending sufficient compensation.

The Trustees will attend a trial run for a replacement garbage truck later this month. Discussion continued from the June meeting on what type of options were required to manage either a one or two person operation for the vehicle.

Elaine Anderson, Holly Librarian, noted that a special fundraiser dinner and entertainment has been scheduled for the Library this Saturday evening, July 14th.  Area cooks have volunteered to prepare the chicken-fried steak, chuck wagon dinner and Baca County Cowboy Poet, Bill Bunting will entertain that evening.  Cost is $20 per person.  Anderson told the Trustees that, “We are now considered an actual public library.  To be considered, we have to be open 20 hours a week and pay the going rate which is minimum wage for 20 hours, but we do not have the funds to cover that.”  Part of the problem, she explained, is that minimum wages have increased and funds that were donated several years ago are now running out.  She is looking for suggestions to enable the library to continue to operate.  Anderson mentioned the library received a $3,500 state grant, but its use is restricted only to materials that are checked out, not for salaries.

The Trustees went into executive session regarding Personnel under CRS 24-6-402 (4) (f).

By Russ Baldwin




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