On Saturday Dec. 5th, Minden residents will vote to renew the 2.00 mills tax for Minden’s Historic Downtown District. This renewed millage is levied only on properties within the Downtown Development District.
According to the Downtown Development, the tax revenue is used to fund the Main Street Department, continue restoration/facade grants, hosting local events that generate tourism, and to keep Minden’s Christmas lights shining.
“The Renewal of 2.00 mills tax on our Downtown properties on the December 5th Ballot. Please help Downtown Development and Minden Main Street keep our Downtown alive by voting yes and/or encouraging those that live within City to vote yes,” said Mahalla Hutto, Director of Minden Main Street.
“A prosperous community is measured by the vibrancy of its downtown. Let’s continue to keep our thriving Downtown.”
Also, in this election Webster Parish Citizens will be voting on a 2 mills tax in order to fund the Webster Parish 911 call center. In recent years due to people switching from landline to cellular phone service, the funding mechanism for the local 911 call center that is tied to landline payments has taken a hit.
“We don’t get money from the state, we don’t get money from the parish or anything like that, we’re strictly funded off these telephones. We’re losing the phone lines, and our revenue has been going down. We’re at the point now where we’re having to dip into funds that we’ve saved, and that money will run out,” said Chris McGarrity of the Webster Parish Communication District’s Board of Directors.
This mill tax would levy an additional $20 per $100,000 of property value (less a homestead exemption of the first $75,000 of assessed value) and would allow the call center to attain the funding it needs.
This lack of funding is causing two primary issues at the moment, those being a need to update technology and a need to retain employees.
McGarrity stated the district is able to fill these positions, but that this new revenue would allow them to be more competitive with their pay of 911 operators and keep them for longer as a result. In return, Webster Parish would be retaining skilled experienced individuals servicing one of the parish’s most important public services.
Furthermore, the funding would be used to purchase updated equipment, which would in turn result in faster response times. In particular, they
“A CAD system that would integrate with that would allow that to populate into our CAD screen automatically and we wouldn’t have to take the time to actually enter those details, we would just verify, which shaves seconds off of our response time, and seconds save lives in 911, it really does,” said Director of the 911 Call Center Angelia Chapman.
In particular, they would use the funding to get an updated Computer Aided Dispatch System as well as upgrades to the hardware that they are using, which at this point is nearly a decade old.
“A CAD system that would integrate with that would allow that to populate into our CAD screen automatically and we wouldn’t have to take the time to actually enter those details, we would just verify, which shaves seconds off of our response time, and seconds save lives in 911, it really does,” said Chapman.