City makes progress for Publix

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Troy City Council took two critical steps Tuesday in the process of opening a new Publix grocery store and retail development.

Council members approved a 772 notice and ordinance 352, two key legislative steps that authorize the city to borrow $1.8 million to purchase land for outparcels in the new retail development. The city will in turn sell that land to Harbert Realty Services and Harbert will pay all costs and fees associated with the loan.

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said the securing of the loan agreement and approval of the 772 Notice was a step in the long journey of steps the road to the new development.

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The council also had its first reading on the authorization of the issuance of the general obligation debt bonds. City officials previously thought they would be going to market later this year, but Rush Rice, president of Rice Advisory LLC, said the city could not have picked a better time to go to market and sell the $16.387 million in bonds.

“We were very fortunate, it was very earned and planned, but the city’s credit rating was upgraded by Standard & Poor’s,” Rice said. “This enabled us to go into the market last week and achieve the lowest interest rates in the history of the City of Troy. We also used a competitive process to select the financing team, which resulted in the lowest fees in the history of Troy.”

The city refinanced the 2005 general obligation bonds and Rice said the city stands to save approximately $215,000 from the drop in interest rate.

“The city’s 2005 debt was refinanced from a 4.4 interest rate to a 2.6 interest rate,” Rice said. “On millions of dollars, that’s a lot saved. Out of the $2.6 million refinanced, the city will save about $215,000 in interest, so that’s a significant amount of savings just on the refinance part.”

The city also approved an agreement with the Southeastern Recycling Development Council. The city will partner with ADEM and received a $150,000 grant, which will help fund the research and promotion of recycling in the State of Alabama. Reeves said it was a great honor for the city to have received this grant.

“They’re going to do some research, some different marketing techniques,” Reeves said. “The whole point of the project is to try and get more recyclables into the recycling stream, which will keep more recycling out of landfills and create more jobs and other things of that nature. We’re excited that the state decided to partner with us on that and we’re excited to see the results on that. Hopefully, it’ll mean less in the landfill and more in the recycling stream.”

The city also authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation for the maintenance of railroad crossings on East College Dean and Love streets.

The crossings will be refurbished as well as have signals and cross-arms added. Reeves said the construction would be paid by the state but any subsequent maintenance needed on the crossings would be paid for by the city.

“All of the costs associated with improvements, lighting, so forth, will be warranted by the Department of Transportation subject to completion,” Reeves said. “The maintenance of those intersections will be the responsibility of the City of Troy.”

In other items of business, the council:

• Denied a request from Southwestern Advantage, an educational product company, to conduct door-to-door solicitation within city limits;

• Approved a request from Outdoor Power Equipment of Troy for the sale of firearms;

• Awarded the bid to Lance Rescue Solutions for the purchase of four thermal imaging cameras and four truck mounted chargers in the amount of $16,367 by Troy Fire Department;

• Authorized the mayor to renew the city’s three-year contract with CDG for engineering services;

• Approved the bid for the purchase of two trucks from Ken Cox Ford to be used by the Recycling Department for the amount of $22,326.90 each;

• Declared property surplus from Troy Police Department;

• And amended the budget for Public Works for additional funds for storm water repairs.