Council approves $9.2 million bond issue

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Greenville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve a $9,217,671.70 bond issue.

Of the approximately $9.2 million bond issue, approximately $2.5 million is new debt, while the remainder is refinancing existing debt, including the 2003 bond issue, a BancorpSouth loan for the construction of Paul Stabler Drive and a loan for YMCA improvements.

“I know there are going to be some people that say why on earth would we go $9 million in debt, but the truth is the major part of this is refinancing, and a small portion is new debt,” Mayor Dexter McLendon said.

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The $2.5 million in new debt will be used to restructure traffic at the Hwy. 185/Walmart intersection; provide the required match for the Transportation Enhancement Grant, which will be used for the courthouse roundabout; provide the required for the ALDOT IAR and engineering for County Road 22; street paving projects; and the purchase of equipment for the landfill, street department and fire department.

“What this provides is an opportunity for our town to grow,” McLendon said.

McLendon pointed out that because of the city’s “A” rating by Standard & Poors, it was able to obtain a 3.75 percent interest rate on the 2011 bond issue – a significant improvement over the 4.48 percent interest rate that accompanied the 2003 bond issue.

The new rate will lower the city’s debt service payment by more than $338,000 during the next two years.

According to McLendon, the savings will allow for projects such as the development of the tennis complex, which will allow the city to host tournaments and will in turn generate sales tax and lodging revenue.

“In studying this, it made sense to me,” Council member Tommy Ryan said. “It’s a very ambitious bond issue, but doing this will allow us to take on several projects, and I just think it’s so good that we were able to accomplish this by including it in future budgets and without a tax increase.”

In other business:

  • The council also approved its redistricting plan. The plan will now be sent to the Department of Justice for final approval.
  • The council voted to move the District 4 polling place from the Butler County Courthouse Annex Courtroom to Beeland Park.
  • The council approved the budget for FY2011-2012. The city’s budget will be $14,485,503.
  • The council awarded a bid of $192,352.72 to Chilton Contractors, Inc. for construction of drainage improvements at Hwashin American Corporation, Inc.
  • The council approved a special retail license by the Alabama Beverage Control Board for the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce for the “Whimdoozie of a Fish Fry and More” to be held on Oct. 28.
  • The council authorized the city to enter into a contract with Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., for construction engineering services for the Industrial Access Road expansion project benefiting Hwashin America Corporation.

The council will hold its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 at City Hall.