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Council changes date for tax vote

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
The Atmore City Council voted at Monday's meeting to hold a special election on Nov. 14 for the city school tax.
At the last meeting, the council voted to include the tax on the general ballot Nov. 7. However, city attorney Joe Thompson recently advised the mayor and council that the tax is to be voted on in Atmore only and cannot be placed on the general ballot.
The 40-year-old tax, which benefits Atmore schools only, must be voted on every 20 years. It was approved by voters a second time in 1980 by a total vote of 904 to 186
The tax is a special five mill ad valorem tax, levied and collected by the city at one-half of one percent on all taxable property in the city limits as assessed by the state.
In other business, the council
n approved a liquor lounge license for Flamingo Terrace. Atmore Police Chief Danny McKinley had no objection to the license being granted.
n approved a request from Dennis Bilbo on behalf of Sav-A-Life for the group to participate in the third annual Life Chain to be held Sunday, Oct. 1, 2-3 p.m., on the sidewalks along highways 21 and 31 downtown.
Councilman Jerry Gehman asked Bilbo if there was not a problem last year with street preachers who were downtown last year during the life chain.
Bilbo said the first year the Sav-A-Life group met downtown to form the chain, the street preachers were already on the corners so they formed the life chain down Main Street. Last year, the street preachers started screaming at some of the participants, Bilbo said, urging them to accept Christ.
Gehman asked Chief McKinley if the city could ensure a safe and peaceful event without infringing on anyone's rights.
Chief McKinley said he would look into it and will have an officer on site the afternoon of the Life Chain. He said that "boisterous language," even though it may not be derogatory, and interfering with a legal assembly are unlawful.
n approved an increase for city retirees. The four percent was requested by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The increase, which costs the city about $8,500 a year, affects 23 people.
n reappointed Sterling Fancher to the Atmore Utilities Board.
n entered into an agreement to pay $7,000 to have the lot behind the Atmore Public Library paved for additional parking.
The meeting lasted about 15 minutes.