By Morgan Bryce
Tackling citywide issues such as sewage, repaving pothole-ridden roads and beautification of its downtown area is the main objective of a 5-mill property tax plan passed by the Smiths Station City Council last Tuesday.
Effective Oct. 1, estimates provided by the Lee County Revenue Office indicate that the tax could generate an additional $175,000 – $200,000 to the city’s overall income.
Following the meeting, Mayor Bubba Copeland shared his thoughts on the plan’s passage and what it means for the future of the city he leads.
“I was very nervous about this. It was done with a heavy heart, and it’s not something that you’re supposed to do as a politician, you don’t raise taxes,” Copeland said. “But, you do what’s best for the city. It’s not something that I can say I’m excited or relieved about, but it had to be done. This may take five or six years to see results from (and) I may never see this come to fruition … but this is the first step of a long journey.”
Copeland also read a proclamation declaring April as “Fair Housing Month.” 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Fair Housing Act” passed by then-U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson which aimed to provide equal housing opportunities to all citizens, regardless of race, religion, sex or national origin.
In other business, the council:
– approved financial statements for the general and environmental fund budgets for the month of March
– discussed possible future membership with the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce to attract future industries and corporations to the city
– made nominations for the city’s planned sidewalk memorial for its veterans. Construction is slated to begin later this year.