Robertsdale, Silverhill approve committees for school tax


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The next steps toward a referendum vote on a special 3-mil ad velorem tax earmarked for the Central Baldwin Feeder Pattern were taken on Monday, May 17 with the approval of committee members in Robertsdale and Silverhill.

On May 3, both councils approved resolutions for the 3-mil tax. The Loxley Town Council approved the resolution during a special meeting Monday, May 24. The council passed a measure supporting the tax at its meeting May 10, but will still need to approve a resolution, officials said.

The Loxley Town Council also approved two additional members for the Central Baldwin Education Committee at the May 24 meeting, Chris Kerby and Jessica Thornton. A third committee member will be based on the recommendation of Rosinton School Principal Andy Benton, said Loxley Mayor Richard Teal and will likely be voted on at the council’s regular meeting June 14.

During its meeting on May 17, the Robertsdale Council approved nominations for Brenda Pierce, Stephanie Kroll and Jeff Copeland for the Special Ad Valorem School District Tax Committee.

The Silverhill Town Council approved nominations for Carl Johnson, Paige Townley and Cindy Schulze during their regular meeting held May 17.

The Central Baldwin Education Foundation is collecting signatures on a petition through June 8, said Chris Kerby, a Loxley businessman representing the CBEF. The petition, which needs a minimum of 200 signatures, will be presented to the Baldwin County Commission to be formally placed in the public record, after which the Commission will set a date for the referendum vote.

The tax is similar to those that were passed in 2019 by the cities of Fairhope and Spanish Fort. If passed it would generate 3 mills and run for the next eight years, which would coincide with the renewal schedule for the Spanish Fort tax. The Fairhope tax was approved for 30 years.

According to information provided by the group, a 1 mil property tax is equal to .01 % (.0001) of appraised property value, or 6 % of the assessed value of farmland. Senior citizens would be exempt from the tax.

The tax is projected to generate from $700,000 to $750,000 per year to be spend toward making academic and capital improvements, personnel and extra-curriculars at Silverhill Elementary, Loxley Elementary, Elsanor Elementary, Rosinton Elementary, Robertsdale Elementary, Central Baldwin Middle and Robertsdale High schools.

Improvements would include providing additional education opportunities, programs and facilities for students in Central Baldwin, Kerby said.

In other business May 10, the Robertsdale Council approved the placement of a Blessed to Blessings box to be placed near the Sam Green Softball Complex at Garrett Park.

Sam Green’s granddaughter, Katie Green proposed the measure to place the box in honor Green’s daughter, Debbie Kesling, who recently passed away from cancer.

“She touched so many lives in this community and we just wanted to do something to give back that would honor her memory,” Green said. “I just think it would be fitting to be able to do it near a place where her father, my grandfather, has been honored.”

The three-foot by three-foot boxes are designed to hold non-perishable food items donated by local residents.

“We want the boxes to be in out of the way places where people can feel free to come and donate and receive the donations anonymously,” said the organization’s founder Lori Keelin.

There are now about 40 boxes, mostly throughout Baldwin County, but the group has recently branched out into neighboring areas.

“It’s just amazing how this has just taken off,” Keelin said. “I’ll keep doing it as long as there is a need.”

There are currently two other boxes in the Robertsdale area, Keelin said, one at the R.A.C. fitness center and one at the Robertsdale United Methodist Church.

Also present at the meeting were Kesling’s daughter, Medea Abrego, and her two grandchildren.

The Robertsdale Council also voted to:

  • Approve a rezoning request for property on Alabama 104 from R-2 residential, to M-U multiuse to allow for a law office to be placed on the property.
  • Approved Robertsdale High School requests to use two of the city’s designated days at the Baldwin County Coliseum for March 25 and 26, 2022.
  • Surplus a 2008 Ford patrol vehicle for the Police Department.
  • Advertise in Gulf Coast Media’s Big Beautiful Baldwin section.

At its May 17 meeting, the Silverhill Council also voted to:

  • Approve the petition for annexation of the town’s property located on County Road 49.
  • Purchased a pipe and cable locator for the town’s Utility’s Department at a cost of $1,155.
  • Renewed two CDs of $105,091.97 each for the town’s Fire Department.
  • Approved the purchase of an ATV for the Fire Department at a cost of $17,292.84.