OB city council approves creating referendum vote

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – The City of Orange Beach is now one step closer to potentially having its own city school system.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Mayor Tony Kennon to set September 23 as the date for a referendum vote that would raise the city’s ad valorem tax rate.

If approved by the voters, the rate would increase by 5 mils up to 12.5, which would generate $3.5 million for the proposed city school system.

“If it was up to me, all taxes would be local, and we’d all get to vote on every tax situation. So, people of Orange Beach will decide whether they want a school system. If they say, ‘No, we don’t,’ then we’ve got plenty to do besides just build a school. So I’m fine with that,” Kennon said.

City officials told Fox10 News that setting up the vote would cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

The council also approved the purchase of 32 acres of land westward adjacent to The Wharf Events Center for about $4.5 million. When asked if the land would be used for a future school if approved by the voters, Kennon said no.

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