Calera sales tax revenues on the rise

Calera’s sales tax revenues were up in May, bucking a trend stretching back more than a year in the southern Shelby County city.

Calera Finance Director Roy Hadaway announced the city met the sales tax revenues outlined in the city’s budget during a June 7 City Council meeting.

“Our sales tax revenues were up last month,” Hadaway said, drawing applause from city officials. “We met budget for the first time I’ve seen since I’ve been associated with the city.”

In early April, Hadaway announced the city was about 7.6 percent behind where it should be for the sixth month of the city’s budget year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2009-Sept. 30, 2010.

The city budgeted about $3 million in sales tax revenues for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The May sales tax increase occurred the month after the city’s Publix supermarket celebrated its April 28 grand opening.

Since opening, Shelby County’s newest Publix supermarket has been drawing customers from a large area, and has brought a new type of shopping to the city, according to store Manager Janella Long.

The Calera Publix, which is near the intersection of Alabama 70 and U.S. 31, has been doing “very good” since its grand opening, and has been drawing a wide range of customers, said Long.

“Our customers are still very excited every time they walk in the door,” Long said. “We have been seeing a lot of customers from outside Calera.

“Every day, I hear customers talk about how clean the store is and how nice it is,” Long added.

Because Calera’s population is growing rapidly, Long said she expects the store’s business to grow each year.

“We are pressing along. Calera is an up-and-coming area,” Long added. “I think in a few years, this store will be doing extremely well.”

Long has been involved in several Publix grand openings throughout the area, but said Calera’s was different from other stores.

“I think, compared to the other ones I’ve done, the people at this grand opening were more excited,” Long added. “Because this store is so far south, a lot of the people in this area were not familiar with Publix before this one opened.”