City of Troy will save $1.3 million through bond refinancing

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

The City of Troy will save $1.3 million after refinancing $9.9 million in bonds taken out in 2011 to make improvements to water, sewer and electricity.

“This was a very, very successful re-funding,” said Rush Rice, the city’s financial advisor. “We exceeded our expectations and we could not be happier.”

At the most recent meeting, the council had authorized Rice to enter the market and negotiate the deal and gave final authorization Tuesday.

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The bonds, technically referred to as warrants in Alabama, were refinanced from a rate of 5.11 percent to just 2.93 percent.

“The amount saved is over 13 percent of the debt that is being refinanced,” Rice said. “To put that in perspective, the state must by law have a present-value savings of at least 3 percent. The city more than quadrupled that.”

Rice said there will be an opportunity in 2018 to refinance more of the bonds to save the city even more money.

It was a busy meeting for the council with most of the time being taken up by an agenda item that turned into a public hearing on the recruitment of Conecuh Ridge Distillery, which will locate off of Trojan Terrace and front Orion and Braswell Streets.

The council ultimately authorized the mayor to finalize negotiations with the distillery after about an hour of comments by residents in opposition to and in support of the project. Most of the residents voicing opinions live in the area.

The council also made two other motions related to alcohol– one to allow Sips on the Square to sell liquor as well as beer and wine and the other a transfer of off-premise beer and wine license to the new owner of Kelly’s Food mart.

Lindsay Taylor, owner of sips on the Square, said the restaurant isn’t “particularly interested” in selling liquor on a regular basis, but wanted to have the option available for private events and special situations.

The council awarded a bid to Bullard Excavating for $210,000 to execute the runway safety improvements grant project at the Troy Municipal Airport.

The project was requested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). The FAA and ALDOT will be providing an Airport Improvement Program grant that will pay for all but $12,000 of the project, which the city will fund.

The council also proclaimed September “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month” to spread information about the deadly disease, its effect on children in America and how to identify it early and fight it.

The city also voted to vacate a street for aesthetic reasons as well as safety precautions. The city voted to vacate Mill Street, a gravel road that runs from College Street to Alphonsa Byrd.

Reeves said the road needed to be vacated in order to be fenced in to improve the view in that area and that the street receives little to no traffic.

The city also voted to support a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to Troy University for the purchase of a radio system that will allow campuses across the state to communicate. The city did not invest any money toward the grant.

The city council will meet again on Tuesday, September 26 at City Hall. The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers at 5:15 p.m.

Any resident that wants to speak during the agenda meeting can reach out to the city by dialing 311 or 334-566-0177 and asking to be placed on the agenda. Only residents scheduled to speak will be allowed to comment during the meeting.