Moulton sales tax revenue up despite COVID-19

Saint

Despite uncertainty following two months of closures and social isolation, Moulton experienced a slight increase in sales tax revenue from January to April as compared to 2019, according to Mayor Roger Weatherwax.

In a regular City Council meeting Monday night, Weatherwax reported a five percent increase in sales tax revenue for the first four months of 2020 in comparison to the first four months of last year. He said tax revenue generated from alcohol sales was down four percent for the first four months.

According to Weatherwax, January saw a 14 percent increase from last year in sales tax, with alcohol tax down 26 percent.

In February, sales tax was up seven percent and alcohol tax was up 11 percent. Sales tax dropped six percent in March, but alcohol tax increased by four percent, and in April, sales tax revenue was up again by four percent, and alcohol tax was up by 19 percent, he said.

Building Inspector Renay Saint said the new Mexican restaurant, Cabos San Lucas, under construction in the shopping center off Court Street and Alabama 157 would be ready to open soon.

“It is almost completed, construction was slowed some due to COVID-19,” he said in Monday’s meeting. “The restaurant is very upscale, unlike anything else we’ve had in Moulton. We can expect several visitors from larger surrounding areas.”

Saint said the building department had renewed 1,200 licenses by the end of March and expects further housing construction to pick up as things slowly reopen after the pandemic.

Saint also presented a Small Cell Ordinance to council members in Monday’s meeting, which will be voted on at the next council meeting on June 1.

The ordinance will establish fees and regulations for small wireless technology contractors, and will require city approval for installation of technology facilities and utility poles, Saint said.

According to the ordinance, the order will “provide public benefit consistent with the preservation of integrity, safe usage and aesthetic qualities of the city rights-of-way and the city as a whole.”

During Monday’s meeting, council members approved a plan to conduct public hearings for a Community Development Block Grant program for the city’s wastewater plant. The program requires public hearings to be conducted before grants are approved or received.

The city also approved an $18,103 reimbursement for the sewer department for a replacement pump at the Alabama 24 lift station.

All council members were present for the Monday night meeting. The council typically meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 5 p.m. unless a special meeting is called. All meetings are open to the public.

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