WAITE PARK (WJON News) - Voters in Waite Park approved a new half-cent sales tax following Tuesday's election.

Question #1 passed 54% to 46% to build a new public safety facility. The new tax will collect around $20-million for no more than 19 years.

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City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says while the new tax will take effect in April, they city doesn't have to break ground on a new building right away.

Whenever we are building something like this, there are lot of thoughts and considerations. We are in the process of a fire study and that study will give us a lot of direction on what our future needs are. What we don't want to happen is build a facility and it isn't large enough or doesn't have the right amenities.

Meanwhile, Question #2 on the ballot which asked voters for a half cent sales tax to raise $7.5-million to fund regional trail connections failed by 34 votes.

The goal of the Regional Trail Connections would be to connect the Wobegon Trail and Glacial Lakes State Trail. It would also connect the Glacial Lakes Trail to the existing city trail system to allow for the connection to Quarry Park

Johnson says with the second question failing, the council will go back to the drawing board to see what other options are available.

With regional trails we may have some opportunities with grants, we may be able to partner with the county, or other alternatives like bonding.

She says they believe these trail connections will be a great asset to the community, however they know it may take a while before it becomes reality.


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