Smith pleased with Brewton vote

Published 9:23 pm Monday, June 11, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith knew he could rely on Brewton voters.
City residents, who had already approved the renewal of a 3-mill district tax for schools, joined the nearly 69 percent percent of Escambia County voters who renewed a 1-mill countywide tax for schools last week.
Likewise, Escambia County voters in all three districts renewed a 3-mill district tax for county schools. That district tax - as well as the 1-mill countywide tax - had failed in a vote last fall.
Brewton City Schools stood to lose about $70,000 per year if the 1-mill tax did not pass. Smith said that money will likely be dedicated to helping pay for a new middle school. Smith said the cost of construction has been rising significantly just in the time the school board has discussed building a new school.
If the countywide tax had not been renewed, Smith said the school system would likely have looked for other ways to raise the money.
Brewton City Schools will benefit from a bond issue for school construction passed by the state Legislature this year - assuming Gov. Bob Riley signs the bill. Brewton could see between $1.2 million and $1.3 million for construction, Smith said.
But even that money is a fraction of what a new middle school will actually cost, he said.
But Smith is not complaining. Smaller school systems will see even less money.
The Brewton City School Board is considering building a middle school at the site of Dogwood Hills golf course, but both school and city officials have said the project will not go forward at that location unless the school and the golf course can co-exist.

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