Commission addresses bond issue, speed bumps in county

Published 9:40 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Crenshaw County Commission moved ahead with a bond issue for road work projects and discussed the status of several speed bumps in the county at Monday night’s meeting.

The Commission chose to go with Sterne, Agee and Leach, Inc. for the bond, and one of the other pressing questions was how much the bond would be worth.

Commissioners discussed the issue and looked for a way to acquire enough needed funds without unnecessarily maxing out the county’s debt limit.

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“We need some wiggle room in case something unexpected happens,” said Commissioner Charlie Sankey.

Ultimately, the Commission settled on a $2 million bond, along with a $430,000 refinancing of a previous bond, bringing the total to $2.43 million.

“The general time to get one of these transactions completed is 30-45 days,” said Louis Baxley, who was on hand from Sterne, Agee and Leach.

The county has been approved for a number of road and bridge projects through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, and those projects require a match to the grant from the county.

Other projects will be funded through the Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP).

“Once we know a dollar amount, then I think we can work on distribution,” County Engineer Benjie Sanders said during the meeting, before the Commission approved the $2.4 million bond.

The Commission also contracted with Lightfoot and Nichols to serve as the bond council for the bond-letting process.

The agreement was for a flat fee (as opposed to a per-hour contract), and county attorney Levi Nichols said that his firm has traditionally entered into a contract with the county for large projects outside the scope of usual retainer work.

Nichols also talked to the Commission about the status of several speed bumps in Glenwood and Petrey.

The county has been seeking indemnity agreements over the speed bumps in those towns since they are on county roads even though they lie in the city limits.

Glenwood had previously signed an indemnity agreement over two speed bumps in town, but a third speed bump has recently been installed in the town.

Nichols said that the town will have a council meeting on Monday, and the town will have to provide an updated agreement and provide proof that the new speed bump is covered under insurance or it may be taken up.

The Commission approved at the last meeting to take up one of the speed bumps in Petrey, but that action was put on hold.

Nichols told the Commission on Monday that he had never received an indemnity agreement from Petrey, and said he would contact Petrey town officials first thing Tuesday morning.

Nichols said on Wednesday that an indemnity agreement with Petrey had been signed on Tuesday, and that the town had presented proof of insurance on both speed bumps.  He said the speed bumps will stay down as long as the town keeps them insured.

“They will have to provide proof every year that they are still insured,” Nichols said.

In other legal matters, the Commission voted to wait until a formal agreement could be signed with Dongwon Autopart Technology Alabama, LLC.

Dongwon and the Crenshaw County Economic and Industrial Development Authority are seeking the county’s support in applying for a grant to improve the company’s sewer system, which would allow for expansion of up to 100 new jobs.

More action is expected to take place at the next meeting.