Published on -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM
I have been watching the progress the county has made on its "special projects." It receives the city's half-cent sales tax for the original agreement that was for five years or completion of the projects. By nature, if someone gives you a deal like that, the inclination would be to drag the projects out to ensure you receive the full five years.
It was supposed to be a gentlemen's agreement, in which case the projects should have been started promptly. The referendum passed in May 2013 to go into effect in October 2013. This should have given five months of planning and be ready to roll when October started providing the money.
As of today, I noticed a small chain-link enclosure at the former bank building (Eighth & Main) and a pretty good sized hole in the former DOT lot on 22nd Street. Fifteen months later, that's what we get. I propose the parties involved renegotiate the terms of the agreement to read: four years, two months, or upon completion. That basically would take away 10 months from the five years because not a lot got done (visually anyway). OK, wait. Let's go for thee years to eight months; this would account for the period from May 2013 to August 2014.
This is the same half-cent sales tax that was supposed to sunset after the library, then Hays Aquatic Park, then the sports complex, and now the county projects. One thing they could do is use signs on the county line on Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 183 that read: Welcome to Ellis County, where the sun never sets.