Westover raises sales tax

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A six-month moratorium is now in effect for any new mobile homes in other than rural or rural residential areas of the town of Westover.

Also as a result of action taken at the Westover Town Council’s regular March 15 meeting, the council increased the city sales tax and established a tax for the rent or lease of tangible personal property, house trailers and garments.

The council unanimously approved a moratorium on new Class A mobile homes in the town in areas other than those zoned agriculture rural and rural residential.

Councilmember Larry Riggins, who introduced the ordinance, said the action was being taken to make the town’s regulations on mobile homes fit the intent of its zoning ordinance.

Mayor Mark McLaughlin explained that the town was raising its sales tax from 2 to 3 cents to bring it into alignment with other municipalities in the surrounding area.

The council also approved a 3 percent tax on the lease or rental of personal property, a 2 percent tax on house trailers and a 3 percent tax on the lease of garments.

The town also took steps toward the formation of a Neighborhood Watch Organization, received a clean audit from the firm of DeLoach, Barber & Caspers P.C. and is looking into the possibility of establishing a soccer complex.

The council set an organizational meeting for 7 p.m. on April 12 to form a Neighborhood Watch group. Councilmember Ed Bahr also volunteered to donate $50 personally for the purchase of brochures.

The certified public accountants firm of DeLoach, Barber & Caspers P.C. gave the town an &uot;unqualified opinion&uot; which S. Wayne Barber II said is the cleanest opinion a town can get.

Barber said nothing of significance was in the audit. However, he noted there was a lack of segregation of duties and

a need for a policy procedure manual.

John H. DeLoach said the lack of segregation of duties was something a small town like Westover cannot correct as there is not enough personnel to divide duties.

He also said the policy procedure manual was only a recommendation.

In other business, the council asked McLaughlin to research the town’s business license ordinance to see if updates are needed.

And over the objection of Councilmember Ed Bahr, the council approved the installation of a high-speed Internet connection for the town library.

Bahr said the town should wait to see if the library would be a success.

In other matters, the council approved adding a banking relationship with First United Security Bank in Harpersville, approved a motion to write a public nuisance ordinance and proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The council approved a motion to contact Owens House to coordinate the Child Abuse Prevention Month Blue Ribbon Campaign.

The council also accepted bids for surplus property, which were closed on March 10.

A 12 x 24-foot structure went for $424.99; an old barn went for $52.25; and a carport went to for $402. All the low bidders have 30 days to remove the structures.

Eloise George, area director of the United States Department of Agriculture, made a presentation on programs available.

Sherry McLaughlin of the Westover Beautification Board reported that 25 households picked up trees that were recently given away and that the leftover trees were planted around town hall by Bahr.

Councilmember Annette Tyler reported that the Shelby County Showcase presentation by Westover was a success and was under budget.

Councilmember Jeanne Champion-Fisch reported that a board of adjustments has been established and meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m