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Dakota City Infrastructure (copy)

Dakota City Fire Chief Clint Rasmussen poses for a photo with a fire hydrant in Dakota City, Neb.

DAKOTA CITY -- Dakota City voters approved a proposition to raise the citywide sales tax by a half cent to repair infrastructure, including 23 fire hydrants.

According to the Dakota County Clerk's Office, the proposition received 113 yes votes and 51 no votes. The results are unofficial and don't include provisional ballots.

The measure raises the overall sales tax rate in the city to 6.5 percent, effective Jan. 1.

Along with the fire hydrants, the added revenue also could eventually fund the replacement of 15 catch basins and 134 street panels and the inspection of more than 10 miles of storm water mains.

Twenty-three of Dakota City's 110 fire hydrants, most of which were installed in the 1970s, are broken, leaking or cracked.

Although fire crews don't have to look several blocks to find another working hydrant in an emergency, officials have said the need for replacement is much greater than the typical one to two hydrant fixes per year that the city's current revenue allows for.

The city plans to be able to increase the number of hydrants it repairs each year from one or two to five. The cost to replace a fire hydrant is around $4,000.

The sales tax increase, according to officials, will help Dakota City keep up with repairs without further burdening residents with increased property taxes or utility fees. Several recent projects, such as a water treatment facility rehabilitation project, well rehabilitation project and construction of a new wastewater treatment plant all used utility fees.

More than 60 percent of Dakota County voters in 2014 approved a half-cent sales tax to help fund the new Dakota City Fire Station, as well as upgrades to the stations in Homer, Hubbard and Emerson.

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