RANDOLPH, NE — Voters in the city of Randolph took another step to position their town for growth on Tuesday.
Voters overwhelming cast their ballots in favor of a one percent sales tax increase to fund a new floodplain project. The project, which has been discussed since 2001, will widen the channel of the Middle Logan Creek and replace six bridges within city limits.
City Administrator Kelsey Backer says the project is about more than just mitigating flood risk.
“Valuations would be higher, people would not be as restricted for their building options,” Backer said. “Right now we are really limited if you are in a flood plain with how you can proceed with those. So we’ll have a little more freedom.”
278 people, or just over 82 percent, voted in favor of the sales tax hike.
The project will take the number of properties in the floodplain down from 137 to just six. Those properties will then face fewer building restrictions.
“We really need new homes for families who want to come back and raise their children where they grew up,” Backer said. “I think it’s really important to make that next step available to them.”
The special election was conducted by mail-in ballot with a three-week window to cast a vote. 62 percent of voters turned out compared to just 31 percent for an in-person special election in 2010.
Organizers say the plans will be completed by February 2018 and they hope the project will be finished in July of 2020.