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Prop E passed, April 3


Eureka residents passed Prop E by over 70 percent, April 3.

The city of Eureka will not only see an increase in sales tax but also an increase of safety for the community.

Proposition E passed with 1,371 votes, April 3. The prop needed at least 50 percent of the votes and received 70.6 percent in favor of the prop with 571 votes against it.

“We’re so excited about Prop E being passed by 70 percent,” Julie Wood, director of Economic Development said. “It’s such a reinforcement of how our residents feel a big responsibility for the community.”

Prop E is a half-cent increase on sales tax in the city of Eureka. The funds raised through the tax will go toward a new justice center, infrastructure improvements and flood prevention measures.

“Everyone’s safer,” Cameron Warner, EBN producer, said. “To know that they’ll have a new and better police station makes me happy. They need better.”

Warner spent half-a-dozen hours with Chief Michael Wiegand, Eureka Police, touring the station and learning about the sales tax and projects to report on it for the EHS-hub.

“It allows us to take control of some of our biggest safety issues and take control of our future,” Wood said. “It’s a great position for our community to be in.”

According to Wood, city officials began meeting to establish a plan, April 5.

“Prop E means a larger, more efficient building for the community,” Chief Michael Wiegand said. “The police officers are very grateful to the citizens of the community.”

The current Eureka Police Station, built in 1981, meets no codes or standards. Officers struggle with the limited facilities and the station has spent $308,000 on maintenance repairs since the station was constructed.

The next step for Prop E is to began planning out the financing for the projects, according to Wiegand. City officials will meet with several architecture firms to receive bids and will eventually hire a project manager to oversee the improvements.

The new police station will allow for the growth of the city of Eureka and the Eureka Police as police expect to be in the new building for the next 25 years.

The Eureka Police serve not only the more than 10,000 residents of Eureka, but when Six Flags is open, they police that, too. With the addition of Six Flags, the population can easily double.

“The police are pretty upbeat right now, as are the city employees and everyone who’s helped us,” Wiegand said.

The cost of a new police station will be under $8 million. Flood mitigation will be $2 million and the replacement of the Allenton bridge will be $8 million.

The tax increase passed by Prop E will begin in October and cease in 2038. This sales tax will generate funds the city will need to match funding from the federal government the city could be eligible to receive through grants.

“When you really think about how much it costs, even though it is an increase, it’s not much at all,” Warner said.

For an additional $.03 on a $6 Culvers order, $.15 for a $30 camo vest from Dickey Bub or $1 on a $200 run to Schnucks’s, residents will contribute to funding the three projects.

City officials will put out a communication plan to keep residents up-to-date and show that the monies will be going towards the three main projects.

“We’re going to be sure that everything we do shows that we really appreciate the passing of Prop E,” Wood said. “We’re going to show that everything we do is in the best interest of Eureka.”