New ArDOT director talks half-cent sales tax

Photo: (Back row, left to right) Rotarian Lang Zimmerman, ArDOT Director Lorie Tudor, Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass, North Arkansas East West Corridor Association Director Gil Losurdo, Rotarian/MH Mayor Hillrey Adams (front row, left to right) Rotary Club President Renae Schocke, ArDOT District Engineer Steve Lawrence, and ArDOT Deputy Director Randy Ort. Photo: Courtesy Brenda Nelson, Mountain Home Rotary PR Chair

Lorie Tudor, newly named director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT), made a recent stop at the Mountain Home Rotary Club meeting speaking on the continuation of the half-cent sales tax appearing on the November election ballot as Issue I.

Tudor was introduced by Rotarian of the Day Lang Zimmerman

Tudor, a 36-year employee of ArDOT, says the tax will simply continue the temporary tax Arkansans voted to pay in 2012 and does not increase or decrease their taxes.

She explained the cost from the sales tax to the average family is $8 a month; it is not paid on grocery items; and it can only be used for transportation needs within the state.

If Issue 1 does not pass, Baxter County’s loss of funding for roads and bridges is over $600,000 and for the City of Mountain Home’s roads/streets, it will be a loss of over $300,000, all of which will have to be made up on the local level.

One of the main issues for our area is the proposed “East/West Corridor,” improving U.S. Highway 62\412 through Mountain Home from the four lanes in Huntsville to the four lanes in Black Rock.

It would be a means of getting from one side of the state to the other on much-improved roadways. Accompanying Tudor were Randy Ort, deputy director of ArDOT, and Steve Lawrence, district engineer from Harrison.

Local officials attending the meeting were Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass, Rotarian/MH Mayor Hillrey Adams and Gil Losurdo, managing director of the NA East/West Corridor Association.

Guests of the club were Baxter County Circuit Clerk Canda Reese, Shane Jackson, Lucretia Coulter, Bill Pickins and Scott Liles from the Baxter Bulletin.

Club President Renae Schocke asked Rotarians to volunteer for the final two Baxter Summer Concert Series, especially the upcoming concert with Arkansas native Justin Moore, who has seven Number 1 hits on the country charts. Again, Mountain Home Rotary will be providing vendor space for this final concert of the year.

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