Early voting in an election that is asking Hamburg residents to approve up to a full cent of new sales tax started Tuesday at the Ashley County courthouse.
The two issues on the ballot — which officials say are needed to improve town safety and recreational infrastructure — are a half-cent sales tax with a sunset clause for a new fire department, and a half-cent sales tax with a sunset clause to improve Norman Park.
“They are separate issues,” Mayor Dane Weindorf said. “You can vote for one without voting for the other.”
Early voting will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday. The election will be 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12.
The mayor said the taxes would make Hamburg a better community with better facilities and equipment. He also said it will give the city more options when applying for grants and state funds.
The Hamburg Fire Department has been in the same location since 1966.
The fire department has previously issued a statement on its Facebook page asking residents to support the tax. The HFD says they have outgrown their current facility and the new facility will allow them to house all of their equipment in one place, and respond to emergencies more efficiently.
“(We) need this new structure to house all our equipment in one location,” the Facebook post said. “We have three pumper trucks and a rescue truck that are stored inside, we have a brush truck that is housed outside under a portable carport and a 2000-gallon tanker that is stored in another building a few blocks away. The new firehouse will be designed to house all equipment at one location, give us more room for training and enable us to respond to emergencies quicker.”