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MARYVILLE, Mo. — After unanimous approval by the City Council on Monday, voters in April will decide whether to add a new sales tax for improvements to the city’s parks and facilities.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, members approved a proposal from Maryville Parks and Recreation that would add a ¼-cent sales tax to fund improvements and necessary maintenance to parks and facilities across MPR’s system.

In March, the MPR board reviewed a master plan that laid out a 5-10-year roadmap for the parks system going forward.

Much of the plan focused on bringing existing facilities, which MPR Director Jeff Stubblefield has described as rapidly aging, up to modern standards. At Monday’s meeting, Stubblefield pointed to park bathrooms needing to be made ADA-compliant, the state of several parking lots and needed drainage improvements at ballfields as just a few examples.

The master plan, the first in MPR’s history, calls for about $8 million in spending on projects across the system, though Stubblefield pointed out that estimate was made prior to the pandemic-induced supply chain issues that have helped to drive up the price of all capital improvements significantly. He said the ¼-cent sales tax is estimated to generate about $9 million in revenue over its proposed 20-year lifespan.

A ⅛-cent sales tax approved in 2001 to fund improvements to the Maryville Community Center expired at the end of March.

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