Pelham set to review city school budget mockup

Pelham leaders are set to review a city school system budget mockup during a Sept. 9 meeting. (File)

Pelham leaders are set to review a city school system budget mockup during a Sept. 9 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council will review the findings of a city school system budget mockup during its Sept. 9 meeting, and likely will discuss a date to vote on forming the school system on the same night.

The council voted during a late July meeting to pay the Birmingham-based Carr, Riggs and Ingram accounting firm up to $10,000 to prepare a “pro-forma” budget for the proposed school system. Pro-forma means “forward looking,” and the budget will look to project the revenues and expenses of a separate Pelham city school system.

Pelham schools currently are part of the Shelby County School System.

“It will definitely be on the agenda for September 9,” City Council President Rick Hayes said of the pro forma budget during an Aug. 27 phone interview. “It’s been blessed by several entities, and everybody has come back and said it is solid.”

Hayes said he could not yet share specific numbers outlined in the pro forma budget, as Carr, Riggs and Ingram is working to put the final touches on the document before passing it along to the council.

“We’ve got quite a bit of cushion. There is a lot of extra money in there,” Hayes said of the pro forma budget. “If it would have been $2 million less, it still would have been strong.”

On Aug. 28, Mayor Gary Waters said he had not yet seen the pro forma budget, and said he does not plan to place much stock in the numbers outlined in the document.

“It’s a fictitious budget for a school system that doesn’t even exist,” Waters said. “I’m sure I will be filled in on the intricacies of everything the same time everyone else is.”

Because of the Labor Day holiday, the Pelham City Council is scheduled to meet on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16. After reviewing the pro forma budget on Sept. 9, Hayes said he might call a special meeting in late September to discuss the matter further.

“After we dig through the budget, we will set a date to vote on (forming a school system),” Hayes said.