By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
LEEDS – Rep. Susan Dubose presented a check to the library during a meeting of the Leeds City Council on Monday, Oct. 16, where Leeds High School Band Booster President Laura Roberts said that they are raising money for a trip to perform at Pearl Harbor next year.
“I am honored to present to the Leeds Jane Culbreth Public Library an educational grant of $10,000,” said DuBose as she stood with staff members. “And y’all put this to the good use that I know that you will for the citizens of Leeds. And I’m honored to present this; I’m a big supporter of public libraries.”
After DuBose presented the check, Mayor David Miller spoke about businesses in the city during his comments.
“One thing that we have said since the beginning of this administration is that ‘Leeds is open for business,’” he said. “And we have, as a matter of fact, ended up during the time that this administration’s been in bringing in over 70 new businesses or businesses which have expanded.”
He then announced that a ribbon cutting will be held for a new TriGreen Equipment facility on Thursday at 10 a.m. He also said that another “major” business will be announced on Thursday but said that he had been told not to say what it is until then.
Afterwards, he spoke about the financial status of the city.
“We’re doing well financially,” he said. “A lot of small municipalities almost went under during COVID. We held our own. We were able to keep our standard AA bond rating. A AA bond rating for a municipality this size is almost unheard of, but we’ve had it for many years now.”
According to Miller, the city’s finances grew enough that they were able to pay off a bond debt for a $2.4 million paving project.
“We’ve got our sights set on another couple of bonds that we think we’ll be able to pay off early,” he said. “So, the city’s doing well financially, and just wanted you to know that.”
During public comments, Roberts spoke about the fundraising effort. She thanked the city council for their support and said that they are currently raising funds for the Leeds High School Band to travel to Pearl Harbor on March 24 to 28 in 2024.
The trip, however, is expensive at $200,000. So far they have been able to raise an estimated $32,000, Roberts said. Around 25 to 30 students are signed up but she stated that she wants all of the band members to be able to attend. This would consist of 72 students, costing around $2,800 for each one.
“We’ve got a great group of folks,” she said. “And I really want the kids to have something that they will remember forever and it kind of opens up to what Leeds is about: We’re a city of valor.”
If they are able to go, the band is set to perform “City of Valor,” a piece written by Band Director Chip Wise for the concert in Pearl Harbor titled “Remember Our Heroes.”
“I can’t really express how much this means to me,” Roberts said. “But for the city in general, it’s something that everybody should be proud of.”
Anyone who is interested in donating can do so by contacting Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail the Band Booster Organization at PO Box 1211. Donations can also be made to Venmo at @LHS-Band with the last four numbers being 4026.
In other business, the council:
- Declared a property on 1943 Lane Drive to be a public nuisance,
- Adopted and ratified the June 2023 city expenditures and payables,
- Adopted and ratified the July 2023 city expenditures and payables, and
- Approved the 2024 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday on Feb. 24 to 26.
Meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of every month at City Hall on 1400 9th Street Northeast. Agenda packets can be seen online at the City of Leeds website.