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Sales tax increase for improvements to storm water system on Palmyra ballot

PALMYRA, Mo (WGEM) — Palmyra, Missouri residents said they’re fed up with storm water backing up into their yards and homes.

City leaders are once again asking voters to pay more to fix the problem. There’s a ballot measure to fix this by raising the sales tax rate by a quarter of a percent. The problem is, a similar measure was shot down last year.

The intersection outside of the Hurst’s home on a normal day

“Usually about 45 minutes of medium to heavy [rain], she’ll start flooding, and then it’ll come across, it comes all down this way, the intersection is covered,” said Palmyra Resident Jerry Hurst.

What the intersection looks like when flooded

Jerry and his wife Gayle Hurst said the intersection in front of their house winds up completed covered in water whenever the rain comes down hard– he calls the city about every time it happens.

City leaders said the current storm water system isn’t capable of handling all the water, and it needs to be fixed.
Hurst hopes voters decide to get the city the funds to do something about this issue.

“[They’ve] pretty well kept up with the small jobs, now we’re talking about the bigger jobs,” said Hurst.

“Well if we don’t fix it people will continue to have problems with the storm water,” said Mayor of Palmyra Loren Graham, and it’s effecting more than just the Hursts, which is why they’re putting the issue to voters again next month.

The plan has many pages showing the numerous problem areas in the city

Mayor Graham said they’ve had consultants outline the numerous places that face issues with storm water in the city, he said without an increase in sales tax it would take a very long time for the city to raise the money to do this project, meaning people like the Hursts have to wait.

Mayor Graham said he hopes cutting the amount they’re looking for in half from the last time the issue was on the ballot will make voters reconsider.

“We’re just slowing it down a little bit, the quarter cent will give us a little over a hundred-thousand a year if things continue like they do with our sales tax revenue,” said Mayor Graham, “which will at least get us started on some of those projects it’s just going to take longer.”

For Hurst, he said at least for him and his neighbors, it would make a big difference.

“It would be a big deal not only for me, you’ve got seven, eight, ten others goes through the same stuff,” said Hurst.

Mayor Graham said if the increase is passed, it would take 6 to 12 months to build up the funds to do the project.
This will show up as Proposition A on the April 2nd ballot.

The deadline to register to vote in the April election in Missouri is this Wednesday, March 6th. A sample ballot can be found below.

Sample Ballot

Palmyra proposes tax increase for street upgrades
Improving Palmyra’s storm water infrastructure


Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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