Partnership delays traffic referendum

The Partnership, a group of local business and government leaders, has decided to delay putting forward a referendum on a possible county sales tax increase to fund road improvements.

“Plans for a referendum on the election ballot this year have been discussed,” said Partnership Chairman Paul Rogers. “But leaders agree that the current economic situation does not lend itself to the right environment for such a referendum.”

Rogers said the Partnership will seek to have the referendum on the November 2010 general election ballot.

“Over the next two years, we will communicate this plan to citizens and ask for their input and ultimately their decision on whether to implement it,” Rogers said.

In the meantime, Partnership leaders vow to continue working with state and federal officials to ease traffic congestion, while promoting the solutions that could come from the proposed referendum.

“Road construction and traffic are the biggest issues we face,” said Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale. “The only solution we have is to find ways to finance these projects locally.”