The city of Northport is considering dedicating half a million dollars in tax revenue to improving four of its public spaces, including the recently "saved" community center, leaders announced Thursday.

The city council usually meets on Monday, but rescheduled their first meeting in January and met instead on Thursday evening.

Council President Jeff Hogg and Councilwoman Jamie Dykes both missed the meeting, so it was led by President Pro Tempore Christie Bobo, councilmen Woodrow Washington and Karl Wiggins and Mayor John Hinton.

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Although the meeting was quiet and sparsely attended, Bobo shared good news from the council's finance committee.

She said the group has identified $500,000 in tax revenue from the Northport First sales tax program to dedicate to improving the city's existing public facilities, even as the council spends millions on developing three major recreational projects.

Bobo said the half-million dollars will be split between improving the Northport Community Center, the Hasson Center, Civitan Park and the United Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama building.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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"We're doing some substantial upgrades there," Bobo said. "We don't have the timeline for it yet because it's going to be based on what construction projects need to happen but that was a great thing to come out of our finance committee today."

As the idea came out of committee Thursday, it will go before the full council at their next regular meeting later this month.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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"I want to thank our staff and also the council and mayor for the thought of putting money back in the community centers," Washington said. "It's going to make a big difference in the appearance, the looks, the interior. Just wait for it and know the staff is working hard on it."

City administrator Glenda Webb said work is already underway to improve the Northport Community Center, including pressure washing and landscape cleanup.

The council could not say when the building will re-open to the public or what programming will be offered when it does but said they were going to make sure it was the space the community deserves before opening the doors again.

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