BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Elevate Tuscaloosa plan took another step forward on Wednesday.
The 32-member advisory council, created by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox to study the plan and see how it could be improved, met for the first time.
“I believe in the plan itself and where we’re trying to go. And I think it’s incumbent on upon the city’s leaders to get as much input as possible to make sure we’re spending effectively and efficiently. We’re actually investing in Tuscaloosa’s long-term future,” co-chair Chris England explained.
The sales tax increase proposed in Elevate Tuscaloosa Plan pays for $500 million in projects and facilities like improvements to parks and the Tuscaloosa Airport and will go into effect October first.
Before then, the advisory council will break into sub-committees that focus on cultural arts and tourism, connectivity and parks and recreation.
“It’s the taxpayer’s money. And accountability is going to be a cornerstone of this process. So we want the community members to be engaged,” the mayor told WBRC.
"Today just kind of getting to know each other, getting an idea where our focus will be and then moving forward," England expressed.
The subcommittees will start meeting in August.
After that, they’ll work on their own schedules issuing reports to the advisory council as a group before presenting suggestions to Mayor Maddox and the city council.