AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Members of the Auburn City Council and staff came together Wednesday to discuss the budget for fiscal year 2015.
After the tax referendum to build a new high school in the city of Auburn failed last fall, members worked together to approve a solution to aid the education system's rapid growth.
"Even though we have challenges funding the school systems and what we're going to do without in order to fund the school system, I still think we're going to accomplish a lot of great challenges for the citizens," explains City Manager, Charlie Duggan.
To pay for new facilities, including a new high school that will open its doors in 2017, the city proposed and approved an increase in school funding by nearly $6 million annually starting in Fiscal Year 2015,
This is an increase from $9.5 million to $15.2 million.
It would include transferring the use of the Five-Mill Fund to Auburn City Schools and dedicating 1.25 cents of local sales tax to the school system.
21 percent. We're doing about 13 percent before now, so just to give you an idea about how much we're growing in the school system, 13 percent to 21 percent," says Duggan.
How can the city afford this? Planned capital investments will be delayed, reduced in scope or eliminated for projects like Renew Opelika Road and Downtown Master Plan.
Even though this plan does not fulfill what the referendum would have brought in, the School board says it is a great start.
"The School Board feels very comfortable with moving forward with the plan," explains Duggan. "They have funding that they have and they're going to monitor their situation as we're going to help them over the next few years to see what their additional needs could be."