Rainsville reaches final steps in  refinancing Agri-Business Center loan

The Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center in Rainsville opened its doors to DeKalb County residents in 2010.

The Rainsville City Council held a brief special called meeting on Wednesday and approved the adoption of Ordinance 05-19-2021 as one of the final steps in the process of refinancing the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center Loan.

Rainsville Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt said for the last four years or so, the council had spoken about trying to lower the payments and save money on the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center loan.

In March of this year, the council approved moving forward with the refinancing procedures following a presentation from Senior Vice President Brad Green from Raymond James Public Finance, who spoke of the opportunity to refinance the Agri-Business Center.

Reaching the final steps in the process the council adopted Ordinance 05-19-2021, reissuing the debt of the agri-business center and placing it through Amendment No. 772.

Per the State of Alabama Office of the Attorney General, the Legislature passed Amendment 772 as a codification of Slawson insofar as economic and industrial development is concerned. Amendment 772 specifically gives a county or municipality authority “to lend its credit to or grant public funds and things of value in aid of or any individual, firm, corporation or other business entity, public or private, for the purpose of promoting the economic and industrial development of the county or the municipality.”

“We sold $3.4 million bonds [Tuesday] and the final interest rate is 2.4%,” said Green. “Kudos to you all for acting quickly. It brought a final savings of $754,000.”

He said the amount of savings mentioned above doesn't happen by accident but rather goes hand in hand with the City of Rainsville’s A credit rating, which expresses a corporation, state or city government's ability to meet its financial obligations in full and on time.

“The A (credit rating) the city has maintained is considered a stable output and it’s a very good stamp of approval that the finances are in good shape and the economy is going well up here,” Green said.

Councilman Arlan “Monk” Blevins said anytime they can save the taxpayers $754,000 “that’s a pretty good deal.”

The council unanimously approved to adopt Ordinance 05-19-2021, reissuing the debt of the agri-business center and placing it through Amendment No. 772. Councilman Bejan Taheri was absent from Wednesday evening's special called meeting.

The council held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night and heard from James Payton of LADD Environmental Consultants, Inc., regarding the continuation of the ongoing Sanitation Service Evaluation Sewer (SSES) Project for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The SSES Project's first initiative was approved in early April to support the plant running more efficiently via various upgrades which included pipe, manholes and valve replacement.

Payton said issues with overflows needed to be addressed which required work on the collection system.

“First we need to assess it to figure out exactly what’s going on,” he said. “By assessing it, we will figure out what needs to be done, and it will also put you in a position to be able to put in a grant application based on knowing exactly what needs to be done.”

He recommended the council approve Jones Utility Service to continue with another phase of work which involved smoke testing, an inspection of manholes, among other items.

“The main lines need to be clean and inspected with a camera,” said Payton. “This work needs to be down at different points, but manual inspections can be done now. It’s a little too wet right now for smoke testing, it would need to be done later in the summer.”

He said the total work cost is estimated at $40,572 based on estimated quantities.

Lingerfelt said these inspections are to work towards applying for grant funding through ADECA and ARC and are needed to move forward into the grant process.

“It’s a competitive grant so if you go in with good knowledge of what you got and very specific repair items it makes your cases a lot stronger,” Payton said.

Monday night the council unanimously approved the proposal of Jones Utility Service for work with the SSES Project for the Wastewater Treatment Plant at the cost of $40,572.

The council also heard updates from the following departments:

Rainsville Fire Chief Willimac Wright reminded the public the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s annual burn ban began May 1, 2021, through Oct. 31, 2021, as part of ADEM efforts to protect air quality in various areas of the state.

Rainsville Library Director Sarah Cruze announced the Rainsville Public Library’s Summer Reading Program begins June 1.

The council also:

• approved the hiring of Gage Wilson as a part-time patrolman for the Rainsville Police Department at the pay rate of $14.97.

• approved the purchase of a Canon Camera for the Rainsville Police Department investigators at $534.98.

• approved the following 2021 pool workers for the Rainsville Pool: Ian Richards, Christy Cooper, Payton Blevins, Kadie Brooks, Halle Brown, Caroline Cooper, Cole Cooper, Braxton Dodd, Tucker Dodd, Zanna Ferguson, Andrew Hall, Riley Jones, Dylan McCullough, Sydney McKay, Staton Robbins, Lainey Tidmore, Kaitlyn Williams, Regan Williams, Hunter Wilson and Hannah Regula.

• approved Resolution 05-17-2021A, issuing of the Series 2021 Warrants for the refinancing of the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center.

• approved the lease agreement between PVA and the City of Rainsville. Councilman Arlan “Munk” Blevins abstained from voting.

• approved to authorize street repairs from Boozer Construction at around $6,000 on Terrace Drive in Rainsville.

• approved to gather pricing and move forward the paving of three areas on Everett Road and one area on Brown Chapel.

• approved to pay Kathy Kramer $2,600 for lifeguard certification.

• approved the Municipal Water Pollution Prevention Program (MWPP) Resolution 05-17-2021(B).

The next council meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2021, with a workshop at 4 p.m. and a regular session at 4:30 p.m.

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