By Wyatt Goolsby
BIG SPRING - How to spend millions in taxpayer dollars is still the hot button issue in Big Spring. On Tuesday evening, the City Council approved several tax rate increases. Some of that cash would go to rennovate or build a new pool, but one group says not so fast. NewsWest 9 learned Wednesday how some are fighting to put the decision in voters' hands.
"I agree that you don't have to have a referendum everytime. 4.2 million dollars, need to have a referendum," Shannon Thomason, Chairman of the Concerned Citizens Council, said.
Thomason said on Wednesday he definitely disagrees with the Big Spring City Council. Tuesday evening, officials voted to approve a tax rate increase, which will directly help to upgrade the 80-year-old Municipal pool. Thomason said he wants more clarity as to how they'll use taxpayer dollars to fix or build a new pool.
"There almost saying, alright, we're going to pursue a project. We don't know what it's going to cost. We don't know what it's going to cost to figure out what it's going to cost. But we're going to charge you for it anyway," Thomason explained.
Mayor Russ McEwen told NewsWest 9 having a renovated or new public pool is a priority for the city, which is why they are continuing to sort through the details. McEwen said the Council is elected to make those kinds of important decisions. One option could be to use increased revenue to build a brand new water park.
"Our organization strongly feels like, if we are going to pursue a project of that magnitude, that it needs to be voted on by the citizens, by the taxpayers, by the people that are paying for it," Thomason said.
In next 90 days, Big Spring residents can expect to start hearing from the Concerned Citizens Council as they try to get at least a thousand signatures to call for a rollback election. He said it's not a vote for or against a new water park, just how to pay for it.
"I'm interested in the idea of it, but I am not interested at all, in not having a say in it," Thomason added.