Hannibal voters reject sales tax increase


HANNIBAL, Mo. – Hannibal voters on Tuesday rejected a proposed half cent sales tax increase.

The tax hike was known as Proposition 1 and was the only item on the ballot, which led to minimal turnout. There were 395 votes in opposition and 369 votes in support, a margin of 26 votes.

The revenue was intended for the city’s general fund for infrastructure and other “remedial improvements”.

There was no immediate decision on whether the issue may find its way back to the ballot by the Hannibal City Council, which also met on Tuesday night.

The Council approved a bid of $78,000 for a 40-foot octagonal shelter to be built near the statue of Mark Twain on the north end of Riverview Park, which was renovated and officially opened last week. Funding for construction of the shelter will come from the Hannibal Rotary Club.

Hutchinson Recreation and Design of Lake St. Louis, MO was awarded the bid. Hannibal Director of Central Services, Andy Dorian, said the Parks and Recreation Department will install the shelter sometime next spring. The shelter will be named the Rotary Shelter.

The Rotary Club will have a contract to use the shelter similar in style to the contract the city has with the Y Mens Club for use of the Y Mens Pavilion at the foot of Hill Street. The shelter will be large enough to contain 14 picnic tables.

Rotary President Andy Straube noted the shelter will be available for use as a hub for many of the events already taking place downtown, especially during National Tom Sawyer Days.

Council also approved docking contracts at the riverfront for Canton Marine Towing at $1,000 a month and for the Mark Twain Riverboat at $7,000 a year. The riverboat is not docked on the riverfront during the winter.

Other action Tuesday night included approval of new technology for the Hannibal Police Department and first reading of an ordinance which will update the software in the Municipal Court. Those upgrades are needed to help the police and the city court comply with state mandates. For HPD, the software and new mobile data terminals in squad cars will eliminate the need for duplication of citations written by officers so they will go into both the local and the state data bases.

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