On Nov. 15, 2021, Stillwater Mayor and Councilors discussed the best ways to move forward with potential ballot propositions – bond for a new fire station ($9M), bond for a new animal welfare facility ($4M), $0.005 sales tax increase for transportation – roads and other multimodal projects, and a request from Visit Stillwater to increase the Visitor Tax (previously the Hotel Tax) from 4% to 7%.
On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, there will be two tax propositions on the ballot for the Stillwater community to vote upon. The sales tax proposition, (paid by all those who make purchases in Stillwater, residents and visitors), will be dedicated to transportation projects such as roadways, sidewalks and walking trails. The Visitor Tax increase, (paid by visitors who stay in Stillwater hotels, bed and breakfasts, and short-term rentals), will be invested in visitor development and quality of life amenities. The last lodging/hotel tax increase was in 1985.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, there will be two bond propositions on the ballot for the Stillwater community to vote upon. One proposition will be for a new fire station (to replace current fire station #2), which will improve emergency response times, ensure ADA compliance, and provide safer and more efficient equipment for firefighters. The other proposition will be for a new animal welfare facility as part of public safety, which will increase education and training for pet owners, provide a safe and health facility to meet code requirements, and more.
Since August, City leadership have been hosting public meetings throughout the community to discuss these concerns and other pressing needs. These discussions and planning are part of, “T.I.M.E. – Together Investing in Municipal Excellence” a first-ever initiative for the City and residents to collaboratively identify needs and funding sources. Participation has included in-person meetings and online discussions.
A Citizen’s Action Committee will be formed to ensure all projects and concerns are brought before residents so they can be fully prepared to vote in February and April. For more information, check the website often at: Stillwater.org/time.