LEEDS, Ala (WIAT) – The community will vote later this month on a tax referendum to increase property taxes. Leeds City School Superintendent of Education, John Moore, says the increase would fund new school and city projects.
The 9 mill property tax increase would amount to $90 a year for a $100,000 house. Moore says 70 percent of that money would go to Leeds City Schools, and 30 percent to the City of Leeds. Moore says the increase would fund a new athletic complex at Leeds High School. The athletic complex would include a new football and soccer stadium; baseball and softball fields; tennis courts; and additional parking for students and the community.
The current 72-year-old stadium, and baseball and softball fields are located behind the Leeds Middle School. Moore says the tax increase would also fund additional safety measures for the school system.
“We currently have four school campuses with three school resource officers. In the era of school safety and concern, we propose to fund an additional officer and unit so we’ll have one officer dedicated to each of our building.” said Moore.
Moore says the increase would also fund a new municipal to contain all components of the city government in one location. This includes a new public library and civic center. These buildings are currently in different locations throughout the city. The municipal complex would be located at a vacant lot in front of Lehigh Cement Company off 2nd Avenue in Leeds.
Moore says the Leeds Police Department would stay in it’s current location, but take over the entire building it currently shares with city hall.
“I think this is a great opportunity for a growing community to take another step forward. We have a lot of momentum in our community. So many positive things have happened over the last decade. Had great growth. I think this is the logical next step.” said Moore.
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 15th. City and school board leaders will be at this meeting to answer community questions. The architect for the project will also be there with a 360 virtual tour of the proposed project. The meeting will begin 6:30 p.m. at the Leeds High School auditorium at 1500 Greenwave Drive.
The vote will take place on Tuesday, January 22nd. It is open to all Leeds residents. The location will be at the Leeds Civic Center at 1000 Park Drive. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.