ORANGE BEACH — With the Orange Beach City School System's first classes scheduled to start Aug. 10, city officials approved funding for the system until tax revenue can come in.The Orange Beach …
ORANGE BEACH — With the Orange Beach City School System's first classes scheduled to start Aug. 10, city officials approved funding for the system until tax revenue can come in.
The Orange Beach City Council voted Tuesday, July 26, to approve $1 million for the school system. Mayor Tony Kennon said Thursday that the money is part of funding that the system will need until revenue from a city lodgings tax can pay for operations.
"It'll be next year when we start seeing money from that, but this is what we planned for," Kennon said of the 3% lodgings tax.
He said some state funding will be received starting in October.
The city money will help pay operations costs as the school system prepares for the opening of the first academic year, according to the city resolution.
The Orange Beach City Council voted in March to create a municipal school system separate from the Baldwin County Public School System. City officials set a deadline of July 1 for the separation to be complete.
Kennon said the process has gone well even with only a few months to set up the system.
"It has gone better than any of us could have ever expected," Kennon said. "I'm sure there's going to be hiccups here and there but considering the timeframe, the speed at which all this took place, and the extreme level of employees that we got, I can't imagine it going any better. We have just great people with like minds, all pulling in the same direction with the goal of we are going to be the best. There's no compromise and anything less than a failure."
Expenses for the school system since April have totaled $968,817, according to city reports.
In addition to operating expenses, the city and Orange Beach School Board will also pay the county school system $13.41 million for the Orange Beach Middle and High School complex, including the Performing Arts Center, as well as more than $3.09 million for improvements at Orange Beach Elementary School and take over payments on $2.52 million in bonds for the elementary school, according to an agreement between the city and county school board.