City of Nixa administrators are proposing a tax increase to pay for some $39 million worth of parks and police projects.
City Administrator Jimmy Liles, Police Chief Joe Campbell and Parks Director Matt Crouse presented the proposal at last night's council meeting, according to a news release. Liles has proposed a 1-cent general sales tax increase, and council is scheduled to vote Aug. 22 on whether to put the issue on the November ballot for voters to decide.
At the meeting, available for viewing via YouTube, Crouse called the proposals necessary for "meeting the needs of our growing community." A Nixa spokesperson said the Christian County town’s population has more than doubled since 2000, with over 24,000 residents last year.
The Nixa Parks & Recreation department has the largest proposal up for consideration: $25 million for an 80,000-square-foot indoor sports complex.
Noting the department has maxed out The X Center that opened 20 years ago, Crouse said expanded facilities are needed amid population growth in the city.
"What's the future hold? Working with Sapp Design [Associates Architects PC], we've proposed a sports complex," he said.
The Nixa Police Department is proposing a new three-story headquarters at a cost of $13 million, as well as nearly $1 million added to the annual budget for 11 additional police officers. With more than 40 current officers, the Police Department projects the need for 80 by 2040.
At the meeting, Campbell said the department is in "a constant state of evaluation" due to growth in the city.
"On an annual basis, we do a staffing study. Our most recent staffing study indicated that we need 11 more officers to meet the demand that we have today alone," he said. "As you can imagine, that's quite a big number."
As to the new headquarters, he said the bottom floor alone is the size of its existing operation.
"We have the opportunity grow into that," he said.
The city of Nixa has not raised its general sales tax since 1987.
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