Alabaster school fund revenues higher than projected

Published 2:55 pm Friday, January 18, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A fund set up in late 2011 to support the upcoming Alabaster School System has drawn more revenue than originally projected through its first year.

The Alabaster City Council voted in October 2011 to begin the process of separating the city from the Shelby County School System, and also voted to raise the city’s sales tax one percent to 9 cents per dollar.

The proceeds from the extra 1 percent sales tax were earmarked for a separate Alabaster school system fund, which is accessible only by the Alabaster Board of Education.

The one-cent sales tax increase went into effect in December 2011, and the school fund has grown to about $3.8 million in its first year. Council members previously said they forecast the sales tax increase to generate about $3.6 million per year to place into the school fund.

“That’s good news,” said Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds. “The district, when it does begin, has got to be on solid financial ground.”

Alabaster School Board members previously said they are working to finalize the city’s separation from the Shelby County School System before the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

During its Jan. 14 meeting, the Alabaster School Board approved a few financial-related resolutions, such as establishing a school system bank account with Regions Bank and approving the purchase of finance-related software and hardware from the CSI Technology Outfitters.

The School Board also is working to hire its first chief school financial officer, and recently completed interviews for the position. The board likely will vote on hiring the chief school financial officer during an upcoming meeting.