LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On Wednesday, Today's THV finds details of how your tax dollars are going to work. Little Rock's one-cent sales tax increase of 2011 is being monitored by "CENT" or citizen evaluation of new tax committee.
A large portion of the sales tax could eventually help lower insurance costs for Little Rock citizens. The Fire Department will be upgrading resources and facilities in an effort to secure a better Insurance
Service Office Rating. Currently, its ISO is two and they are trying to improve to a one rating.
The sales tax will fund an additional 36 fire fighters. 12 will come on board this year and another 24 fire fighters are projected for hire by 2015. The tax also provides $845 thousand for the new fire station in West Little Rock and funds to purchase land for another fire station in Southwest Little Rock.
The new fire station is located at the corner of Rahling Road and Taylor Loop and will be the first station built since 1992. This station is projected to be completed this fall.
Fire Chief Greg Summers says the next station built will be in Ward 2 or Ward 7 in Southwest Little Rock.
The public works department will see more than $70 million from the sales tax, most of which will help repair roads and drainage problems.
Ninety percent of this money will be divided equally in the seven wards. The plan calls for three cycles of three years, where each ward will receive between $2.5 and $3 million starting in 2013.
Jon Honeywell with Little Rock Public Works says this money makes a very small dent in a huge area of need.
"That number varies or it ranges between $750 million and a billion dollars worth of needs that we've identified. So over this 10 year period we only have $72 million so it's a very small percentage of the overall needs that we've identified around the city," says Honeywell.
The City Plans to hold public involvement meetings in each ward to get input for project locations and priority.
Little Rock's Parks and Recreation Department plans to expand maintenance from class "C" to class "B". In class "C" parks are mowed 1-2 times a month and in class "B" they are mowed 2-3 times per month.
This expansion means 24 more employees, eight of which are already filled. 15 of those employees are new positions.
Little Rock's Planning and Development department increased operating expenses by $25-thousand thanks to the sales tax.