Sardinia looks for solutions to bad streets

By Martha Jacob – 

Sardinia Village Council met in regular session Nov. 13 and the meeting began  with a brief conversation from members of council about the recently failed street levy for the village in the Nov. 9 election. The levy failed 119 against the street levy, 76 votes for the  4.8 mill street levy.
The levy would have generated up to $50,000 annually  which  would enable  the struggling village to apply for a $500,000 revitalization  state grant.
The money raised would have allowed the village to come up with the required $100,000 matching funds in two years.
The funds would have been used for repairs on  the streets in the village.
“It was upsetting to all of us,” said Karen Miller, Sardinia Village Fiscal Officer. “Our mayor, Greg Cassidy made the comment that he just doesn’t understand why the levy failed but does not believe it was because of the small annual tax it would generate  or the fact that voters had limited funds. He said he simply does not understand why people voted no on fixing the streets in the village.”
Miller added that council members and the mayor continue to hear residents complain about the village income tax and the cost of  utilities in the village, using those complaints as a reason they voted no.
Mayor Cassidy said that the next step for the village is to work harder next November getting people to understand the urgency of the street levy and put it back on the ballot. He explained that there are only a few businesses in the village, the Tractor Supply Company,  Marathon 1st Stop and a couple of others. There are no real money makers for the village and it only gets street funds from the gas and license tax, and when  $9,000 goes to purchase salt, that doesn’t leave much in the $15,000 alloted to the street department.
The street department will now be forced to fill the potholes with gravel instead of fixing them properly with blacktop.
In other business at the meeting Mayor Cassidy is in the early stages of forming a Merchants Association in the village. The first meeting is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2018.
Cassidy announced that the village Christmas Parade and tree lighting will be held in the center of town at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9.
Council also discussed the possibility of forming a Joint Fire District with the village and several area townships and the Lake Waynoka area.
Council talked about two properties that are within the village but do not have the village water and sewer services.
“Our previous mayor wrote a letter exempting the two property owners from paying the 1 percent income tax,” Miller said, “but the regional income tax agency has now reviewed this action by the village’s legal council and said that the mayor did not have the authority to exempt anyone from the income tax ordinance rules. So now Mayor Cassidy has to draft a letter to these property owners informing them that they are no longer exempt.”
Miller also explained issues that were going on with council members. She said that at the January, 2018 meeting, Mayor Cassidy and councilwoman Juanita Watson will be sworn-in, then council will enter into executive session to review any candidates for the remaining 3 vacant seats. The other council members will decide who will serve on council.
Mary Alice Ellis with the Sardinia Historical Society has chosen a new project to work on in the village which will include repairing falling head stones in the cemetery.