Residents living in the City of Zachary voting in the upcoming presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, will decide 'Yes' or 'No' whether they support a proposal from the Zachary City Council, which would allow the borrowing of money without a vote before the people.
"What this proposal does is allow us to take advantage of very low interest rates without calling for a special election," said Amrhein.
"We've never had this issue before because we've never borrowed money before."
The money, which can only be borrowed from the State Bond Commission and only after proving that it can be paid back, would go toward continuing infrastructure improvements, the mayor said.
He added that any bond supported by property or sales taxes would still require voter approval.
Last year, the successful loan from the DEQ of $9.3 million at a low, low rate of 0.95 percent for current sewer upgrades, prompted Amrhein and City Councilmen to ask for this change to the Home Rule Charter.
Residents should also note that no new utility rates, taxes or millages will be affected. "Anything that would have been raised or affected has already been determined," said Amrhein. "We will never borrow more than we can comfortably repay."
If passed, the City of Zachary would borrow about another $5 million at another low rate of 0.95 percent.
"This proposal will allow the city to look at future projects and keep us up with infrastructure needs as we continue to grow. It will help keep Zachary as one of the best places to live."
School Board Terms
In related news, Zachary voters will also decide Nov. 6 whether to limit the number of years a school board member can serve.
As with most public school districts in the state of Louisiana, of which there are 70, Zachary Community School Board members can serve indefinitely.
Lafayette and Jefferson Parishes are the only exceptions.
If residents support the measure, then ZCSB members will be limited to three consecutive four-year terms, which would go into effect with elections after Jan. 1, 2014.
This means that board members who have served for several years, could serve an additional 12 years beginning in 2014.
If Zachary voters decide to reject the measure, board members will continue to serve for an unlimited number of years.
The Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA), which has opposed term limits in the past, has not taken a formal stance on the issue.
The issue will be voted upon in all state public school districts except Lafayette and Jefferson Parishes.