Cullman voters will decide on 1-cent tax increase on March 3 ballot

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Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, right, addresses the Cullman County Commission Tuesday morning. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County voters will see a referendum for a countywide one-cent sales and use tax for education on the March 3, 2020 primary election ballot. The Cullman County Commission passed a resolution Tuesday morning ordering the referendum be added. The request for the referendum was made by the Cullman County School Board (CCBOE) and Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette; the CCBOE passed a resolution at its meeting Oct. 10 to request the commission set an election in March 2020 to permit the voters of Cullman County to decide on the tax. (See background at www.cullmantribune.com/2019/10/10/ccboe-to-county-commission-put-1-cent-sales-tax-on-march-ballot)

“We are asking for a one-cent sales tax to be placed on the ballot for the people of Cullman County to vote on,” Barnette said to the commission Tuesday morning. “This money will be spent on the local school campuses, upgrading facilities and security. We have an outline of what we would like to do on each campus, and we’ve been sharing that in community meetings over the last couple of months. During those conversations, we feel like the people of Cullman will support this and really through those meetings have asked for us to come to you guys and ask for this to be put on the ballot.”

Prior to approving the resolution, Commissioner Garry Marchman said, “People are out in the communities and talking about it and one of  the things they are saying is that, we don’t mind voting for a tax, but we want to know what’s going to happening to the money and where it’s going to go.”

Barnette said renderings of the planned improvements will be placed in the respective school lobbies if the tax increase passes.

He added, “A portion of this will go to the (Cullman) City Schools as well, so both school systems in Cullman County will benefit from this tax.”

In other business, the Cullman County Commission took the following actions:

  • Tabled consideration of vacating a portion of County Road 319
  • Ratified the City of Cullman abatement for Webb Wheel Products, Inc., in the amount of $2,909,741 for an addition to the existing facility
  • Ratified the City of Cullman abatement for Goat Island Brewing, LLC, in the amount of $200,000 for addition to the existing facility
  • Adopted the Mass Fatality Response Plan upon the recommendation of Coroner Jeremy L. Kilpatrick and Cullman County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Phyllis Little
  • Authorized Little to sign a grant with the Alabama Department of Public Health in the amount of $28,000
  • Authorized Chairman Kenneth Walker to execute a contract on behalf of the Cullman County Commission with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, Inc. for design services for runway rehabilitation at Cullman Regional Airport
  • Authorized the Airport Board to let the bid for site clearing and grubbing at sites A, B, C, and D at Cullman Regional Airport upon the recommendation of the FAA
  • Approved the Cullman County Commission’s updated Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Approved the purchase of fencing around the stairs for cell blocks A, B, C, D and E at the Cullman County Detention Center from CRAFT Associates for $17,648 to address safety concerns
  • Approved the purchase of a SAVIN IMC 3500 copier for the Probate Office for $8,950
  • Approved the surplus of the following vehicles from the Road Department to be sold on GovDeals:
    • 4700 International Dump Truck
    • 2000 GMC Pickup
    • 2- WB156-5 Komatsu Backhoes
    • Model 7210 John Deere Tractor
    • 2-Model 7200 John Deere Tractors
    • 1999 Jeep Cherokee
  • Approved proposed resubdivision plat for Shaggybark Park Subdivision located in District 2 on County Road 255.

The next Cullman County Commission meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 at 10 a.m.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com