Opp, OCS finalize stadium funding

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Opp City Council this week approved a funding agreement with Opp City Schools to pay back bond money secured for the Channell-Lee Stadium project.

As part of the agreement the city will pay $15,000 a year for 15 years or $225,000.

“We talked about it and the school got no interest money and our agreement was to help pay it back,” Mayor H.D. Edgar said. “We’ll pay a portion of the work we did at Channell Lee Stadium.”

But the city’s portion is only a little more than half of the total cost of the renovations.

Superintendent Michael Smithart said the school board is responsible for the rest of the nearly $450,000.

“The school system is responsible for the balance,” he said. “We entered into partnership with the city and agreed to evenly distribute the annual debt payment.”

In addition, the Opp Booster Club is supposed to help pay for some of the expense.

“We have some tacit agreement with our booster organizations to assist,” he said. “We have not formalized them at this point.”

Smithart said last week the stadium project should be complete within the next two weeks, and is the first major renovation of the stadium in 50 years.