The Northport City Council adopted its budgets for Fiscal Year 2024 Monday and approved more than $1 million in funding for area agencies and more than $765,000 for resurfacing roads.

Each area government passes budgets around this time before the new fiscal year begins on October 1 - Tuscaloosa will vote on theirs Tuesday, and the county commission does the same Wednesday morning.

Leaders in Northport passed a $44 million general fund budget and an $11.4 million water & sewer budget. This year's general fund budget is around $3 million larger than what was adopted in FY2023.

They also voted to provide funds to more than 20 local nonprofit agencies and other organizations.

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20 Agencies Funded - With One Major Exception

Many of the biggest agencies in West Alabama rely on local governments for the lion's share of their funding, and each year the city votes on how much to provide each agency that requests funds. On Monday, the council voted to provide more than $1 million to 20 such agencies

The biggest winners included Tuscaloosa County PARA, who received $236,000, the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter for $202,000 and the Tuscaloosa Public Library with $176,000.

The Arts Council was awarded $95,000, the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency got $90,000 and FOCUS on Senior Citizens was granted $60,000.

The Kentuck Art Center was set to receive $68,000 in agency funding, but council president Jeff Hogg amended the budget to remove Kentuck from the resolution adopted Monday night before the vote distributing funds passed.

The city has recently begun asking agencies like PARA, Kentuck and the Library to sign funding contracts detailing specifics about the funds they receive will be spent. Hogg said Northport and Kentuck are still working to "negotiate a contract for a long-term relationship."

The Tuscaloosa Thread obtained the contract Northport asked Kentuck to sign, and one clause within would commit the Kentuck Festival of the Arts to be held in the city of Northport for the next 5 years.

The city also provided the Thread with an email from Kentuck's executive director Amy Echols, who indicated that clause would not be a sticking point for their organization.

"Please rest assured that we have never planned for the Festival to be in any other location," Echols wrote.

Still, the two parties did not reach an agreement before the meeting Monday night and Kentuck was not awarded agency funding. Hogg and city administrator Glenda Webb said the issue will be revisited soon.

For specifics on the repaving projects later this week and exciting coverage of budget adoptions by the Tuscaloosa city council and the county commission, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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