RB Council to change city scholarships

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
RED BAY- The Red Bay city council voted Monday night to abolish the City of Red Bay Scholarship ordinance based on the ordinance not benefiting a wide range of students.
The council agreed to honor prior commitments to the three students who have already received these scholarships, but believes it would be best to use the money to create projects that will fund more students’ college education.
Council member Charlene Fancher said the funds used to pay the scholarships should go toward projects that cover many students, instead of just narrowing it down to two students.
The 2005 council began the ordinance by setting up one non-renewable scholarship. In 2007, the ordinance was amended to two renewable scholarships for students who met specific requirements. The scholarships were set at $500 per year and were renewable for four years, bringing the total to $2,000 for each student if used to the full extent.
Councilman Mike Kennedy agreed with Fancher expressing he would like to help a wide range of students instead of only two.
The scholarship money was being pulled out of the occupational tax, which was also revised at Monday nights meeting. The occupational tax is a fund that is accumulated from .05 percent of all wages earned in the city of Red Bay. This type of tax is used by many cities in Alabama, but Red Bay is the only city in Franklin County to establish the tax as of now.
Fancher said taking the money out of the occupational tax seems inappropriate.
The council voted to replace all previous ordinances as it relates to the occupational tax during the meeting.
Senator Roger Bedford presented a new 50/50 revised that stated “All occupational tax funds received by the City of Red Bay will be distributed first to pay the 2009 debt warrant of the City of Red Bay until debt is paid in full; and all funds thereafter will be distributed at a rate of 50 percent to the Red Bay Industrial Development Fund and 50 percent going to the Educational Fund. This ordinance further declares that any funds expended from the Educational Fund or the Industrial Development Fund will be approved in advance by the Red Bay City Council. Expenditures from these funds will be recommended to the Red Bay City Council and that council will prioritize how those funds will be expended based on the greatest needs for Red Bay Schools.”
The next regularly scheduled Red Bay City Council meeting is set for Monday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at the City Hall.