SYRACUSE -- A $3 million sales tax bond proposal coming to voters in November has quietly cleared another hurdle.
City leaders held a public hearing on the bond package Tuesday after posting legal notices for the hearing in the Standard-Examiner as well as on the Utah Legal Notices website.
No one spoke at the hearing, at least during the designated time set for input to be taken. However, city council candidate Karianne Lisonbee asked to offer public comment on the bond during a public hearing on the sale of surplus property, which immediately followed the bond discussion on the agenda.
Mayor Jamie Nagle denied Lisonbee's request.
Lisonbee said she was addressing a question to someone sitting next to her and didn't realize she had missed the short window for the public hearing. She asked for a change to reopen the hearing, but was denied.
Councilman Larry Shingleton then moved to reopen the public hearing, but that motion was denied by a 3-2 vote with Councilmen Doug Peterson, Alan Clark and Matt Ocana opposed.
Lisonbee claims the mayor made an exception to the rule in a previous meeting.
"As a citizen wanting to address the council, I would think they would have been interested in the input I offered. I can't help but think that this was a deliberate retributive move, based on the council's allowing the same action two meetings ago which they denied me at the Sept. 27 meeting," Lisonbee said.
She said she would have spoken against bonding but not against the need to rebuild and fix roads.
Discussion around the bond has outlined a $3 million infusion of funds from the initiative to put toward road maintenance and repair.
The resolution calls for the voters to consider a $3 million sales tax bond package over 10 years.
Sales tax bonds do not require a public vote to implement, but city leaders have opted to let the voters decide anyway.
City Manager Bob Rice said he expects city staff to put together a voter information sheet on the bond and possible options to pay for the package, or to address road repair.
He has raised the possibility of a maintenance fee to address road repair that would be added to monthly utility bills.
The maintenance fee is just one of several financial options discussed by officials as they wrestle with what they estimate to be a $2.89 million shortfall for immediate road repairs, plus a projected need of $10 million to complete all roadwork in the next five to 10 years.