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Sylacauga Council refinances debt; changes residency requirements for SFD hires


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Sylacauga City Council recently voted to refinance a rather large amount of debt. This debt is a portion of the Series 2010-A General Obligations (G.O) Warrants from 2010 and amounted to $4,440,000.

The refinancing comes at a time where the City of Sylacauga feels confident it is taking advantage of very low interest rates. Walter Lewis, former Quarterback at the University of Alabama, and now Managing Director in Public Finance Investment Banking for the financial firm Piper Jaffrey, stressed at the work session preceding the meeting that financial experts are not sure how much longer these low interest rates will last and said the move to refinance debt for the city would essentially be a ‘no-brainer.’

“The interest rate market has been very kind since 2008 and has been historically low,” said Lewis. “The goal is to get the lowest interest rate we can possibly get and that’s what we’ve done.”

The Council also authorized the issuance of the City of Sylacauga G.O. Warrants, Tax Exempt Series 2017-B, in an amount not to exceed $10 million dollars with a 25-year maturity. A low interest rate, once again, was a major reason the city decided to pull the trigger on the the large bond. This bond will go towards capital projects that the city wants to accomplish in the future.

City Council President Lee Perryman is adamant on his stance that the city needs to have money put away and ready to go when grant opportunities arise along with other capital improvement opportunities.

The council also voted to extend the boundary for full-time new hires for the Sylacauga Fire Department. The old parameters set required hires to live within the city’s service area. Now, full-time hires will be required to live within 60 minutes of the city’s service area. Interim Fire Chief Adam Garner told the council this move will allow fore more qualified candidates to be available to apply for jobs within his department.

The council also approved the application for grant funding up to $24,000 through the ADECA Law Enforcement/Traffic Safety Division. This will be used for the purchase for taser units for SPD, and requires no local matching funds by the city.

A public hearing was set for Oct. 2017 to discuss the potential of allowing loft apartments in B-1 and B-2 zones, and took action necessary to approve a resolution authorizing a pass-through donation in the amount of $15,000 from the Sylacauga Utilities Board to Sylacauga Rotary Club for infrastructure and landscaping improvements at Central Park across from the Blue Bell factory.

Jeremy Law for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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