(Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series based on videos presented about the half-cent sales-tax on the Sartell city website.)
by Dennis Dalman
Without the regional half-cent sales tax, Sartell’s Pinecone Central Park would not exist.
That is one of the points made by Elizabeth Risinger, Sartell resident; and Brian Dauer, member of the Sartell Economic Development Commission. Both are featured on a video on the Sartell city website about why they consider an extension of the half-cent sales tax important for the city’s residents.
Sartell residents approved a regional half-cent sales tax in 2004. Since then, revenue from the tax to Sartell has been used for a number of projects mentioned by Dauer and Risinger:
• The purchase of former golf-course land that is now Pinecone Regional Park with its baseball-softball fields, soccer fields, all-purpose fields, pavilion, concession stand, music and movie events and cross-country skiing.
• Road improvements, including at CR 120 and Roberts Road from Pinecone Road to Heritage Drive.
• Trail improvements and connections.
Those are just some of the ways sales-tax money was used by the city for a variety of amenities.
Risinger and Dauer then mentioned how future sales-tax money could be used by Sartell:
• A multi-use community center with maybe even a pool. Other possible amenities to a center could be a senior center, a branch library, a recreation gym and more.
• Much-needed improvements on Pinecone Road, including widening it up to 35th Street N.
Dauer and Risinger also noted part of the regional sales-tax revenues would be used for St. Cloud-based regional uses that would benefit all the six area cities: trail system, aquatic center and airport improvements.
If the sales tax is not approved by voters in Sartell, the city’s residents will have to pay the half-cent tax in cities that do approve it, but Sartell will not get any of the revenue.