Fort Payne Borrows $45 Million
May 24, 2018
Southern Torch (3700 articles)
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Fort Payne Borrows $45 Million

By Marla Jones, Reporter

marla@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full Video at the Bottom) The Fort Payne City Council met on Thursday, May 17, 2018 for their regularly scheduled meeting.

In March, the Council agreed to the issue of 45 million dollars worth of bonds that were partly due to the 1% sales tax that was passed in August 2017.  The Council had the first reading of the ordinance Thursday. According to City Attorney Rocky Watson, “There is no reason for us not to pass this today and get the benefit of $45 million for our city and our schools to go forward.”

The Council authorized the pricing of the completed bond issue, which will close on June 6, 2018.  The interest of the bond will be set at 3.88%.

The 1% sales tax increase was put in place to help build the reserve of the City. According to Fort Payne Mayor, Larry Chesser the repayment of debt will definitely be aided by the sales tax revenue. The additional revenue from the sales tax increase will provide the City of Fort Payne, upwards to three million.

The Council suspended the rules and passed the ordinance.

After the passing of the ordinance, Councilmember Wade Hill stated, “This is a big day for Fort Payne, folks.”

While this bond will not encompass all the city’s debt, Fort Payne does have a larger bond that matures this year. The revenue from the sales tax will help make the payment.

“This is the first time since I have become Mayor that the City has been in a position to do this kind of work,” said Mayor Chesser. “Since the collapse of the hosiery business, the City has had to patch things. In addition to the sales tax and national economy, we do not feel bad about borrowing money.”

Mayor Chesser went on to say,  “ We are hopeful that we can use this money for the betterment of our City.  If you wait to save the money to do these projects, you are liable to wait.  Might as well bite the bullet, borrow the money and pay it back.”

The Council has allotted 20 million that will issued as school bonds for the Fort Payne Board of Education construction of a new elementary school on 49th Street.

The Council has allocated 13 million to the Parks and Recreation Department for various projects to include a new tennis complex, new soccer fields and additions to the baseball complex.

Renovation of the Fort Payne Police Station, and new sidewalks are also on the list of projects that the Council feels are needed.

While there is no time frame of when the projects will begin, Mayor Chesser said that there is a possibility of beginning some of the projects late this year.

Fort Payne City Council President, Brian Baine said, “I am excited about the direction we are going, and seeing the  improvements for Fort Payne that will benefit future generations for many years to come.”

In other business:

• The Council further discussed  and approved a proposal from MRS Consultants, LLC regarding archaeological surveys off Alabama 11 North for a gravity sewer line.

• Approved a crosswalk at the DeKalb County Library for the Fort Payne Church of Christ.

• Rescheduled the June 5 meeting for May 30 at 11 a.m. at the Council chambers.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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