Corinth mayor begins lobbying for 'Future Fare'

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Corinth’s mayor and board of aldermen will spend the next several weeks detailing their road and infrastructure improvement plans – referred to as Future Fare – as they prepare for an Aug. 21 special tax election to pay for the projects.
A public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. June 19, at the start of the next city board meeting.
Mayor Tommy Irwin on Monday asked the Corinth school board for permission to use the high school auditorium for a July town hall meeting to explain the plans and answer questions from voters.
“We’re pulling together a PowerPoint presentation and handouts that show a complete breakdown of how we’re going to spend the money,” Irwin said. “We’re going to let the citizens have the opportunity to decide.”
City officials are asking voters to approve an additional ad valorem tax of 12 mills per year for a period of five years, raising $1 million per year for a total of $5 million. The funds would be placed in a separate, dedicated fund for capital improvements and infrastructure work.
The list of projects to be completed with the funds include:
* Street paving, milling and overlay, $3,636,000. Proposed expenditures by ward are: Ward 1 – $294,750; Ward 2 – $1,759,250; Ward 3 – $230,250; Ward 4 – $353,500; Ward 5 – $400,240; downtown – $598,000.
* Property cleanup (commercial and residential), $300,000.
* Planning Years 5-15 – Strategic Master Plan, $100,000.
* Drainage, $100,000.
* Americans with Disabilities Act improvements/Sidewalks, $200,000.
* Signage, $250,000.
* Aesthetics/Corridor improvements, $200,000.
* Contingency, $214,000.
Irwin also asked the school board to support the plan.
“The board did not take a position (Monday) night,” said Corinth Superintendent Lee Childress. “It was not on the agenda for discussion, so they’ll probably discuss it at the July meeting.”
Irwin said the plan to finance these improvements is an important part of recruiting business and industry into the city, and the city budget simply will not support the amount of work that is needed.
“We have got to spend money on this community to make Corinth start looking good,” Irwin said. “Whatever comes out of this election, we’ll do the best we can.”
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com