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Now that voters have passed a 3/4-cent sales tax for Nixa Police, what's next?

Nixa City Hall in Nixa, Missouri
City of Nixa
Nixa City Hall in Nixa, Missouri

Nixa City Administrator Jimmy Liles said officers could be hired as early as this year.

Voters in Nixa approved a 3/4-cent sales tax for public safety on April 4, and city officials are planning what steps to take next.

Nixa city administrator Jimmy Liles said the new tax, passed April 4, will allow the city to hire more police officers. He said they’re currently 10 to 11 short based on the police department’s call load. The tax will also fund a new three-story police headquarters.

"We're currently completely out of room," said Liles. "We...actually, you know, have converted broom closets into offices in our current facility, and we're just out of room for storage."

The first two stories of the new police headquarters in Nixa will be finished, and the third story will be left as a white box to allow for future growth.

"When we build this police department, we're planning for at least the next 20 years," said Liles, "so, this building will be sufficient to hold the growth that we plan on experiencing for the next 20 years, and the sales tax will also continue to fund additional officers over the next several years."

Liles said he’s heard from citizens that the reason they didn’t support the sales tax for parks and public safety in November is because they wanted to decide those issues separately.

He said they’ll revisit the parks issue at some point in the future.

"We're still out of space," said Liles. "You know, we've had to cap our kids' programs this year, which we hate to do. You know, I definitely never wanted to...have to tell a child they can't play a sport because we don't have the room, but that's where we're at."

The city could see some tax revenue coming in from the new tax by the third quarter of this year, according to Liles. He said they want to start hiring officers as soon as possible — they might add a couple of officers this year.

Construction of the new police headquarters will take more time. Liles expects it will be two to three years before ground is broken.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.