(Jackson, Wyo.) - Town Council and County Commissioners voted unanimously today to add the Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) Initiative for West Broadway Landslide Project to the August 16 ballot. "It is in the public interest to resolve this issue," said Town Manager Bob McLaurin during the meeting. McLaurin explained that the landslide moves a quarter inch each month, speeding up when it is wet and slowing down when it is dry. "There is a possibility of the catastrophic failure of that hillside," McLaurin added. McLaurin stressed that it is in the best interest of the community and northwest Wyoming to fix this landslide. If the SPET is approved in August, then the 6% sales tax would provide a "bridge" so that taxes would not dip to 5% in August when the current SPET initiatives are satisfied and then back up to 6% in April 2017. The goal is to generate $6 million to fix and stabilize the slide. The proposal states that the money will be used to acquire land and/or easements, relocate and replace of any impacted utilities, and for the cost of planning, engineering, and construction of a system to stop the West Broadway Landslide and restore public infrastructure. It goes on to state that any excess funds, including any unused contingency funds, shall be placed into a designated account, the principal and interest of which shall be used for operations and maintenance of the public infrastructure in the affected area. "This money is intended to repair public infrastructure," said McLaurin. During discussions, councilors and commissioners spoke in strong favor of the SPET initiative, urging the public to educate themselves on the issue prior to the August vote. The SPET measure will go on the primary election ballot on August 16. More information on this issue is available here.
*Feature Photo: The former Walgreens in Jackson. Pitchengine Communities*