Future of Fairplex proposal will be determined today

By Martin Couch

Today is the final day to vote for or against the one-cent sales tax that will decide whether Saline County gets a multi-million dollar, state-of-the art Fairplex.[more]

"We can decide what the future holds for Saline County," said Jill Jones, Executive Director of the Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission. "There has been expressed support for this imaginative and innovative project. We are counting on the people to get out and vote."

Every polling place in Saline County will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the special election.

"It's a short-term investment for a permanent gain," Jones stated. "We all have so much to gain from this project. How often do we get the chance to determine our future? This is that chance."

The opposition has been the Saline County T.E.A. party which is a non-partisan group against needless spending of tax dollars.

"Let the county give the land to a private company and let them build it," said John Hairston. "That's how a lot of parks were built. Disney World, Six Flags or even Dogpatch. Some make it, some don't, but it's on the backs of the stockholders of the company not on the backs of the taxpayers. Let the ones that will benefit most cough up the money."

The one-cent sales tax is involved with a sunset clause that will be phased out in six to seven years for a complex that will cost more than $55 million.

"I think the right way to fund this project is to get investors to fund it," said Vince Lancaster. "What happens if this thing flops? Who keeps paying for it? I mean really, name one thing the government does with our money that is profitable. Don't get me wrong, the Fairplex is a great idea, I just don't think we taxpayers need to pay for it."

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