City approves special election ordinance

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

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The Atmore City Council approved an ordinance calling for a special election to vote on an existing 5-mil ad valorem tax for the schools at its meeting on Monday.

During a city council workshop last week, City Attorney Larry Wettermark said according to Amendment 8 of the state constitution, it names Atmore as one of 10 that can have a special 5 mil ad valorem tax dedicated to just the school system in Atmore. Current schools in Atmore include Rachel Patterson Elementary, Escambia County Middle and Escambia County High School, according to Advance archives.

“That amendment goes back to the early 1900s,” Wettermark said Sept. 16. “In 1958 the first election was held and a tax was voted by the people for the benefit of the Atmore school system. It was renewed in 1978, and the last time it was renewed was in November 2000 for a 20-year extension of the tax. It’s time to do that again.”

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Wettermark stressed the importance of the tax because current schools will maintain the same level of funding.

The election calls for the ad valorem tax to be renewed for 20 years.

“I’ll stress that this is not a new tax,” Wettermark said. “This is simply maintaining the funding that are already on the books. It’s critical for our school system to have this.”

At present, the city schools receive approximately $350,000 in mileage each year. The moneys are used for additional personnel for Atmore schools.

The election will be held Nov. 12, 2019.

In other business, the council:

  • adopted resolution 2019-18, granting an amendment for a tax abatement to Tiger-Sul Products LLC for reconstruction of an industrial plant (current location) at 20 Byrne Dr. in Atmore;
  • heard business that Ribs on Ridgeley will be held on Oct. 17, 2019, from 5-8 p.m.;
  • renewed Alex Jones’ term on the planning commission;
  • approved the purchase of a garbage truck from Sourcewell, formerly NJPA, which offers cooperative purchasing for state and local governments. The garbage truck, which cost $179,789.95, was available for purchase through the program;
  • adopted a resolution declaring an emergency for the purchase of an air conditioning unit for the court room at city hall; and,
  • approved the parade route for Escambia County High School’s Homecoming Parade, which will be held Fri., Oct. 4, 2019, at 2 p.m.