CHILDERSBURG — A 1 cent sales tax increase to fund street repairs will likely take effect Aug. 1, after the City Council held the first reading of the tax ordinance in its regular meeting Tuesday evening.
The city plans to increase its sales tax from 3 cents to 4 cents on the dollar. With state and county taxes, the total collection would increase from 8 cents to 9 cents on the dollar.
Officials have projected the increase will raise $418,000 per year, or about $1.6 million over four years.
As the proposal was discussed in council meetings and public hearings in recent months, officials repeatedly said the tax would automatically be retired at the end of four years unless the next City Council voted to continue it. However, the ordinance was written with no mention of a date for the tax to end.
Officials earlier said that if the tax is approved, the city would issue bonds to pay for the city-wide paving project, then use the proceeds from the tax to pay off the bond over four years.
The ordinance does earmark the proceeds of the tax for street improvements.
City Clerk Sandra Donahoo has said other cities including Sylacauga, Oak Grove, Munford, Columbiana, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook collect the same amount Childersburg currently collects. Chelsea, Birmingham, Montevallo and Southside collect the amount Childersburg would increase to, while Talladega, Lincoln, Oxford, Anniston, Valley and Pell City each collect 5 cents, 1 cent more than Childersburg’s proposed increase.
The council will likely adopt the tax increase ordinance on July 1, repealing the city’s current sales tax ordinance which took effect in 1991.
In another matter Tuesday, the council took a step toward improving some sewers and demolishing more dilapidated buildings.
Childersburg will apply for a Community Development Block Grant to improve sewers in the Pleasant Valley area, bounded by 13th Street NW and 16th Avenue NW, as well as to demolish more buildings. Several dilapidated buildings were demolished with funds from an earlier grant. The resolution the council adopted Tuesday evening also commits local funds to match the grant.
The council also:
* Adopted a resolution declaring three old police cars -- 1998, 2005 and 2006 Ford Crown Victorias -- as surplus.
* Approved spending $399 to add a second recumbent exercise bike at the R.S. Limbaugh Community Center.
* Approved spending $626.47 to repair the air conditioning in the ceramics room at the senior center.
* Approved buying paint and supplies to have inmates supervised by city employees paint the front of the old National Guard armory, which the city leases for storage.
* Approved spending $2,200 to repair the Street Department’s John Deere tractor.
* Approved paying registration and mileage for department heads and elected officials who wish to attend loss control summer seminars.
* Heard a report that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management plans to move its environmental monitoring station from the roof of the R.S. Limbaugh Community Center to a location near the softball field.