FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A majority of the City Council was not ready to discuss increasing the lodging tax Tuesday to pay for a tennis complex, voting instead to move the matter to the next meeting.
Four of the six council members voted against immediate consideration after the agenda was amended to increase the tax by 5 percent, and to request the release of money held in escrow to perform infrastructure work in Veterans Park, where the 31 courts would be built.
"We do not take this project lightly," said Councilman Blake Edwards, who expressed concerns about the costs.
Council President Dick Jordan and Councilman Andy Betterton voted for immediate consideration. Edwards, along with council members Kaytrina Simmons, David Bradley and Michelle Eubanks, voted against it. The matter will appear on the council's July 25 meeting agenda, where it will get a final vote.
Initially, a 3-percent lodging tax hike was proposed to build the courts. But during Tuesday's work session, new figures were presented by city treasurer Dan Barger that raised the amount of the tax increase, and showed the extra money being used to improve the aging park on the banks of the Tennessee River.
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