It's a GO, with NO
"NO" was a win for those in favor of Clarke County Reservoir Commission's (CCRC) Squaw Creek watershed project.
The unofficial results in Tuesday's special election to repeal the local option sales tax (LOST) in Clarke County were NO: 611 to YES: 119.
The issue of repealing LOST was directly related to the funding for CCRC's watershed project.
"I think that the process has worked again," said Bill Trickey, executive director for Clarke County Development Corporation. "Citizens have a choice, and they expressed their choice at the ballot box."
Members from the opposition group declined or were unavailable to give comments about the election results.
The ongoing CCRC Squaw Creek Watershed project could provide a water supply for Osceola and SIRWA (Southern Iowa Rural Water Association) with an 816-acre lake, which could provide 2.2 million gallons of water per day.
West Lake, the current water source, doesn't meet the needs of Clarke County and SIRWA.
The total project cost for the reservoir in the CCRC Squaw Creek Watershed is estimated at $37.6 million. Funding for the project includes many sources, especially funding from LOST.
A special election was scheduled Tuesday to determine whether to repeal LOST in the areas of Clarke County where it is imposed.
This included LOST 2008 with the city of Woodburn, LOST 2009 with the city of Osceola and LOST 2010 with the city of Murray.
The unofficial voting results for the three cities in Clarke County were:
Osceola - NO: 503, YES: 95.
Murray - NO: 90, YES: 15.
Woodburn - NO: 18, YES: 9.
"Our job is to secure a water supply for this community in the most affordable method possible," Trickey said. "We have the tools that we need to do that."
The special election was just one part of the lake project. There's still more work to be done.
Trickey said the eminent-domain process is underway on the parcels of land that have "unwilling sellers" and the "process needs to play out."
Trickey said CCRC can look hard at where they need to be putting their energy right now, especially with the special election over.
"I think that they're going to continue their good work and keep moving ahead," he said.
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