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  1. Council Approves Loan for Ball Park

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    July 31, 2011 by wcobserver

    Code Enforcement Discussed By Renee Reed WEST FORK – City Council Members waded through loan details before approving an ordinance that will pave the way for a short term loan to complete the third planned phase of ball field improvements in Carter Park during its July 12 meeting. The loan, which is brokered by Stephens Inc. will complete fencing and lighting at Carter Park at an estimated cost of $400,000 for the third of four planned phases in the park. Michael McBryde of Stephens Inc. in Fayetteville said the interest rate of 3.5 percent was lower than had been anticipated and would save the city about $200 per month over what had initially been budgeted. McBryde said Arvest Bank would be financing the five year loan. Arvest Bank previously financed the Phase Two loan for the park. McBryde explanined to council members the difference between the loan and a bond; the loan does not require approval from voters. Tom Kieklak, the city’s attorney, explained that municipalities can only borrow up to five percent of its total of real estate owned, while a bond could go beyond this. Kieklak brought up the question of whether the amount of the Phase Three …

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  2. Taxes on your Retirement Savings

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    July 31, 2011 by wcobserver

    We typically think retirement savings should be tax free. After all, the charm to that 401-K or IRA account is the tax break. You get to put the money in “before-tax” and the growth is also free of tax, right? Actually, it might be more correct to say it’s “tax-deferred.” Retirement accounts and other Tax-Qualified pensions are not really tax-free. You’ll have to take the money out some day, and when you do that you’ll pay tax on the amounts withdrawn. In fact, the tax rules generally require you to begin withdrawing your money at the tender age of 70 ½. There are strict rules about “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMD). After that age, if you neglect to make the stipulated minimum withdrawals, you’ll get hit a tax penalties equal to 50 percent of any shortfall. So just what are the rules for RMD’s? Let’s say you’ve recently retired, and you have a fat IRA in addition to your Social Security and pension. Or maybe you’re a teacher and you have a 403B “teacher annuity.” It works like this; the government has a Uniform Distribution table (Google “RMD table”) which you must use to calculate your RMD, unless you have chosen …

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  3. Sales Tax Holiday Coming Up

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    July 30, 2011 by Sue Madison

    By Senator Sue Madison (D) District 7 LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas shoppers can enjoy the state’s first sales tax holiday the weekend of August 6 and 7, when retail stores will not charge sales taxes on purchases of school supplies and articles of clothing costing less than $100. Accessories under $50 also will be exempt from the sales tax. Shoes, boots and sandals will also be exempt if they cost less than $100. The sales tax holiday is a result of Act 757, enacted earlier this year by the legislature. Although it was labeled a “back to school” tax holiday, it will benefit all consumers who buy clothes and accessories. No sales taxes at all will be collected, neither state nor local sales taxes. That means shoppers will pay what the sticker price indicates for clothing, accessories and school supplies. Clothing that will be exempt from the sales tax includes footware, diapers, wedding apparel, gloves, aprons, hats, neckties and even rubber pants. Exempt accessories include jewelry, cosmetics, briefcases, watches, wigs, hair notions, umbrellas and non-prescription sunglasses. Exempt school supplies include binders, paper, notebooks, markers, pencils, rulers and protractors. It is a long list of items that common sense dictates are …

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  4. Date Set for WestFest

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    July 30, 2011 by wcobserver

    The second meeting of the WestFest 2011 Committee on July 15 resulted in a firm date and various details for the annual event being established. The date was set for Saturday, Oct. 8. The theme this year will be “Where the Story Begins.”

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  5. “We’ve always done it that way”

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    July 29, 2011 by wcobserver

    During the July West Fork Council Meeting the subject of the need for a city code enforcement officer was brought up. In the current arrangement a citizen must make a complaint about a possible violation of the city code regarding animals running loose, derelict houses, back yard auto salvage yards, illegal signs, unkempt and/or unsafe property before something is done — or, unfortunately, not done.

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  6. Park Concessions Vandalized, Food Stolen

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    July 29, 2011 by wcobserver

    Carter Park, which suffered damage earlier this year from flooding, saw additional damage July 10 after vandals broke into the concession stand by prying open the metal gate covering the concession window.

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  7. A Letter Back in Time

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    July 29, 2011 by wcobserver

    What began as a wet spring has quickly turned into a stiflingly hot, dry summer here in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks.

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