by Mark Reaman
Sales tax revenue huge compared to a decade ago
Town councilman Jim Schmidt pointed out that sales tax revenue had almost doubled in town in the last 10 years. 2015 August figures were up 7.6 percent over last year. Year-to-date statistics show that sales tax revenue increased just more than 13 percent for the year compared to this time in 2014. $401,563 was collected in August of this year.
“Sales tax collections have doubled compared to 10 years ago,” noted Schmidt. “That is just astounding.”
July pulled in close to a half million dollars in sales tax collections and was up 10.3-percent over last year.
“One thing is apparent, though, in that as we have a record number of visitors and more sales tax, the pressure on our facilities goes up,” said town manager Todd Crossett. “It takes more to accommodate the visitors and it costs more. Expenses go up as well.”
Planning for traffic, housing and artsy stuff
Town planner Michael Yerman said the new traffic consultants for the town inspected the Red Lady Avenue/Highway 135 intersection area and it is filled with utilities. “I knew there were a lot of utilities under there but it is like Grand Central Station for the entire north end of the valley,” Yerman told the council. “It will likely cost more than the original estimate to do any work over there.”
Yerman also said the Creative District members were meeting soon to discuss details of a potential Creative District Commission and its potential authority with the town.
The planner also told the council to expect some initial thoughts on appropriate guidelines for those seeking affordable housing in blocks 79-80. It is hoped some of the lots could go up for sale next year, as infrastructure should be completed by early next summer.
Town manager’s review
Council failed to follow through with its plan to hold a review of town manager Todd Crossett this summer so they will now do a salary evaluation at the next meeting in executive session. Most of the council felt it would be too rushed to perform a full review of Crossett before the upcoming election but they wanted to determine what figure to put in the 2016 budget for his salary. Councilman Glenn Michel said the town would provide salary comparables for other town managers to give the council some data on which to base their salary discussion.
The council appointed Cathy Steinberger and Carmen Bell, along with town clerk Lynelle Stanford, to be on the town’s official election commission.