Loxley council approves support for school tax vote
By John Underwood / [email protected]
LOXLEY, Alabama – Loxley City Council joined with Robertsdale and Silverhill councils voting to approve a resolution at its Monday, May 10 meeting, allowing a referendum vote on a special $ 3 million ad velorem tax that will be reserved for the Central Baldwin Feeder Pattern.
Principals from four local schools, Misty Wilkinson from Loxley Elementary, Andy Benton from Rosinton School, Phillip Fountain from Central Baldwin Middle School and Joe Sharp from Robertsdale High School, were present at the meeting, along with local educators and members of the Central Baldwin Education Foundation.
“We are asking for your support for a referendum that will allow people to vote on whether or not they want a dedicated tax to support Central Baldwin schools,” said Chris Kerby, a Loxley business owner representing the CBEF.
The tax is similar to those adopted in 2019 by the towns of Fairhope and Spanish Fort. If passed, it would generate 3 factories and operate for the next eight years, coinciding with the timing of the renewal of the Spanish tax on the fort. The Fairhope tax has been approved for 30 years.
“With Loxley’s potential growth and the possibility that Loxley will be in line for high school in the next few years, we see this as a positive thing for Loxley,” said Sharp.
Loxley Mayor Richard Teal said Stonebridge Primary School, which is under construction within the city limits, would currently fall under the Spanish Fort power model, but could move to Loxley if a new secondary school was built there.
“We want to keep that support here in our city,” Teal said.
According to information provided by the group, a property tax of 1 mil is equivalent to 0.01% (.0001) of the estimated property value, or 6% of the estimated value of agricultural land. Seniors would be exempt from the tax.
The tax is expected to generate $ 700,000 to $ 750,000 per year to spend on improving education and capital, staff and extracurricular activities at Silverhill Elementary, Loxley Elementary, Elsanor Elementary, Rosinton Elementary, Robertsdale Elementary, Central Baldwin Middle and Robertsdale High School. .
The improvements would include providing additional educational opportunities, programs and facilities for Central Baldwin students, Kerby said.
“It’s about providing our kids with facilities that other areas already have,” Kerby said. “We chose to raise our children here, but one day they will grow up, go to college and hopefully return to this area. If we don’t provide them with these opportunities now, our kids might want to go somewhere. “
Loxley voted unanimously on May 10 to approve the resolution. Robertsdale City Council and Silverhill City Council passed similar resolutions during meetings on May 3.
The group will now need to collect 200 signatures on a petition, which will then be presented to the Baldwin County Commission for approval. If passed, the Commission will then set a date for a special referendum vote and a special election will be held for the voters of Robertsdale, Loxley and Silverhill, as well as other residents who belong to the high school power model. Robertsdale.
If voters approve the tax, a central Baldwin education committee would be formed, with three members appointed by each municipality to decide how the money is spent.
In other cases, on May 10, council approved an intergovernmental service agreement with the Baldwin County Commission for the city to manage the construction of a Loxley transit shelter.
In July 2020, the city received a matching grant from the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization in the amount of $ 782,635 in federal funds for the construction of a transit shelter in the city.
The city will contribute 20 percent, or $ 195,658, towards the construction of the shelter.
The city will manage the project and coordinate directly with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the duration of the project.
Upon completion of the project, the Baldwin Regional Transit System (BRATS), which falls under the Baldwin County Commission, will be the designated transit provider for DFO.
In the other cases of May 10, the council: