Opp to add buildings at industrial park area

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The city of Opp decided Monday to finalize a $3.325 million bond issue in an effort to bring new business into the city’s industrial park.

City attorney Wesley Laird said the process will be a joint venture between the city and the city’s industrial development board. The city will ask the board to purchase two parcels of land and construct three buildings adjacent to the current industrial park on the south bypass.

The land and buildings will be property of the industrial board, and money from the bond measure will allow the city to lease the property from the industrial board. The city will then sublease it to new private businesses.

The first building to be built will be a 40,000-square-foot spec building, similar to the building where MFG Galileo is currently located.

Laird said the city had been working on the bond issue for several years, but waited until the time was right to pursue a long-term agreement. Prior to Monday’s resolution, the city had been relying on short-term financing to complete various projects at the industrial park.

“We’ve been working for a bond issue for a couple of years now to pay for some of the new buildings and work going on at the industrial park,” Laird said. “We wanted to wait until things got right in New York (on Wall Street) again.”

Brian Spear, senior vice president of Montgomery-based Frazer Lanier Company, said the city was able to finance the bond at a 5 percent interest rate, or coupon.

“I know a lot of work and forethought and planning has gone into this, and I congratulate you for getting the industry here,” he said. “It’s taken a long time, but it’s finally come to fruition.”

Laird said if the city had tried to make the bond issue previously, its coupon would have been at 6.5 percent or higher.

Crew also added that the city received a maximum AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s in New York City.

In other business, the council:

Heard from Aaron Bogan, a citizen who spoke on behalf about the Hardin Street Sports Complex. At the previous meeting, a concerned citizen had expressed worry that violence was occurring at the ball fields.

“We’ve been hearing about the ball park being shut down,” Bogan said. “I coach the girls and I coach the men’s team. There ain’t been no shootings, no stabbings … the police can’t show no report about that happening.”

Crew said the city does not want to shut down the sports fields.

“We do not want to shut that place down, unless there is a reason,” he said. “That’s one of the good things about our community; we offer a lot of recreational opportunities and we want to continue to do that.”

Learned the city recently received its second emergency generator. The generators were financed by an Emergency Management Agency grant.