Last Tuesday, the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board voted to place a one-eighth of a cent sales tax back on the Feb. 7, 2012, ballot. The issue was defeated by Barry County voters on Nov. 8. The decision to pursue the sales tax proposal again was made at a specially called board meeting.
Fire chiefs from the Central Crossing, Exeter, Cassville, Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano, Wheaton, Butterfield and North Stone-Northeast Barry County fire districts attended the special meeting to pledge continued support for the sales tax, which would generate around $425,000 in additional revenue for the Barry County E-911 Operations Center if voters approve the measure.
"I'm not giving up," said Jon Horner, emergency services board chairman, to the firefighters. "This is too important for the county and too important to what you guys did six years ago to get 911 passed."
According to Mike Phillips, Barry County E-911 director, the sales tax issue will appear on the presidential preference primary ballot, making election costs minimal for Barry County E-911. The county emergency services board will only pay for legal fees associated with ballot language composition.
"I want to ask the chiefs not to give up either," said Phillips. "This is bigger than myself and bigger than the board. We need your full efforts to get this passed. I'm not saying you didn't give that before, but I want you to know what kind of effort will be required."
If the sales tax is defeated in February of 2012, the board will only have three more chances to place the issue before Barry County voters. Elections will be offered in April, June and August of 2012.