Alma voters will decide in a June 13 special election if the city can use an existing 1 percent sales tax to pay a $5.1 million bond for street improvements.

Alma City Council members approved a measure to set a special election on the bond issue, allowing voters to decide if the city can use 50 percent of collections from an existing 1 percent city-wide sales tax.

Alma Public Works Director Mark Yardley said the money would be used to improve East Collum Lane, West Cherry Street and portions of Mountain Grove Road and Main Street.

With the conclusion of construction on the Arkansas 162 bypass, Yardley expects Mountain Grove Road in particular to get more traffic, making the need for improvements urgent, he said.

Also during the special meeting, council members approved a request from fire chief and alderman Eddie Wakefield for the city to move forward on purchasing land for a new fire station.

Alma Fire Department will purchase the property for $75,000 plus closing fees and the cost of appraisal, Wakefield said.

“The appraisal came back for $100,000, so I think we’re getting a great deal,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield, who abstained from voting on the issue, already had a signed offer of acceptance from the property owner, he said.

Wakefield said the property is located in a central part of the city on Mountain Grove Road. He expects construction to begin within the next six months, he said.

“It’ll be something the city can be proud of, I promise you,” Wakefield said.