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Center Point City Council enters into agreement on tax revenue enhancement

By Nathan Prewett

For the Tribune

CENTER POINT — During a regular meeting of the Center Point City Council on Thursday, August 9,  a resolution was approved regarding the city’s tax revenue. Additionally, the Council returned to a discussion of an economic development position and approved renovations to the administrative office of City Hall.

The first item on the agenda was a resolution to enter into an agreement with Avenu Insights and Analytics on “tax revenue enhancement”. The agreement allows Avenue Insights to identify businesses that have “escaped” paying for business licenses by analyzing sales tax information and buying data to study in order to ensure that a city retains revenue.

The contract with Avenu was approved for one year, though Barlow said that if the Council was satisfied, the contract could be extended. The resolution was unanimously passed as Resolution 2018-56.

During a pre-council meeting, the subject of an Economic Development Specialist was brought up, an ongoing topic for the last several meetings. A job description for the position was discussed, which outlined responsibilities and skills needed. Among the responsibilities would be recruiting new businesses to Center Point, along with implementing a business incubator and informing the Council on community programs while representing the views of the city.

Leesburg asked who would supervise the specialist, to which Council President Roger Barlow replied that the Center Point Area Chamber of Commerce would fill. In the regular meeting, Barlow suggested that changes and additions to the job description be contemplated and brought up at the next meeting.

The Council voted to approve renovation of the administrative office for $7,350. The remodeling will remove two to three walls to create a larger space in the city clerk’s office as well as create additional storage space.

During public comments, Center Point resident Billy Hagood asked several questions, one of them regarding the city’s purchase of several facilities for community meetings and asked why the Center Point Fire District goes to Trussville for meetings. Councilor Terry Leesburg explained that the district existed before Center Point became a city, including Pinson and Clay.

“In order to keep any animosity from the cities that are involved, it was decided that it should be held at a neutral site,” he said. “Rather than in one of those cities so that two cities would not get mad at the one that is hosting them.”

In his comments, Mayor Thomas Henderson announced that Councilor Linda Kennemur has reached “CMO Emeritus” at the Alabama League of Municipalities and congratulated her. She will receive an award in Montgomery in October.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Barlow mentioned an Alabama city has considered passing ordinances regarding cell phone use by drivers in school zones, saying that these ordinances have prohibited their use while driving in such zones. He said that the possibility of passing a similar ordinance would be discussed in the future.

The next Center Point City Council meeting will be held on Aug. 23 with pre-council at 6:45 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

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