Pierpont looks for ways to expand

New village residents hope to pass a half-percent sales tax.
Thursday, December 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:19 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pierpont residents might have the self-governance they were seeking, but the newly incorporated village still relies on Columbia for some assistance — like a conference room.

The Pierpont Board of Trustees held its first public meeting at Rock Bridge Elementary School on Wednesday night to discuss how to handle its new independent status.

“Obviously, there’s not a lot of us in the village, so all of us should take an interest,” said Pierpont resident Drew Pippin. “We just wanted to safeguard our independence so we could somewhat self-govern the small number of people that are out here.”

Although Pierpont was approved for incorporation by the Boone County Commission on Nov. 3, the village is already seeking to annex additional villages.

“Once you incorporate, then you can annex,” board vice chairman Bob Miller said. “Columbia didn’t want us to incorporate because then it’s open for annexation.”

At the meeting, chairman Justin John also outlined several ordinances for Pierpont that will appear on the ballot in Boone County in April. One ordinance calls for a half-percent sales tax, which was approved unanimously by the board.

“The benefit of sales tax is that it is collected over time and not all at once,” Miller said. “People from Columbia who come to shop at the Pierpont store will have the opportunity to support the village of Pierpont.”

If voters approve the tax, it would go into effect in October 2005. The first payments would be collected every month after that. But Miller said the revenue would not start showing up until January 2006 because of the slower rate of collection for small businesses.

The incorporation was the first for Boone County in nearly 100 years, John said, referring to the move as “historic.” He added that the best way to protect Pierpont was to incorporate.

“We’re not trying to pull away from the county,” John said. “We’re 100 percent forward. But we just don’t want Columbia to come down there and tell us what we can do and what we can’t do.”

The next move for Pierpont is to submit its records to Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren so she can include the ordinances on ballots.

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