Cape Girardeau city council decides several issues at meeting

Cape Girardeau city council to discuss budget and more at meeting

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - City council members in Cape Girardeau, Missouri decided on several lingering issues at Monday night's meeting.

Leaders approved a $79 million budget for the next fiscal year that starts on July 1. With a 2.81 percent operating budget increase, the budget maintains the same property tax levy, adds new police officers, two new jailers and one new code enforcement officer.

This was accomplished by reduce one general staff position, reducing workman's compensation rates through a safe work record and a reduction in debt service of $1.42 million.

There will also be a small increase in water and solid waste fees.

The city will also move forward and approved the next step on a sports complex in town.

They chose the MidAmerica Hotels Corporation as the first proposal for the city manager to begin negotiations for an agreement to design and build an indoor sport complex in Cape Girardeau using restaurant tax revenue.

City staff will now negotiate with them and bring back an agreement for council approval.

Should they not reach an agreement, the council selected a first alternate and authorized the city manager to continue negotiations with them.

Facilities supported by the collection of the hotel/motel/restaurant tax have resulted in tremendous economic impact and opportunities related to tourism and business attraction to the Cape Girardeau region. These include the Show Me Center, the Osage Centre, the Shawnee Park Sports Complex and the River Campus. The complex is intended to increase sports tourism and the local economy.

The Restaurant Tax is estimated to generate more than $22.5 million through 2030. An Amended Settlement Agreement provides for $5 million to be allocated to the new Police Station, leaving approximately $17.5 million for the indoor sports facility.

Finance Director John Richbourg recommends the City finance no more than approximately $12.5 million for project construction, leaving approximately $5 million for initial staffing, equipment, operations, bonding costs and reserve funds until revenue neutral or a positive revenue stream can be achieved.

The consultant Ballard King estimated this time frame to be three to five years.

The sport complex is expected to be self-sustaining within five years.

The transportation trust fund was approved and will go in front of voters in August. Forty-five percent of the money will go toward city road projects. It renews what has been in place for 20 years.

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