Parties reach agreement on airport debt

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

After weeks of negotiations, the South Alabama Regional Airport Authority, the cities of Opp and Andalusia, and the county commission have each approved an agreement to proceed with the refinancing of the airport’s debt for construction of facilities used for economic development.

SARA attorney Anne Sumblin said that following the July 20 special meeting, authority vice president Dr. Chuck Burgess took the lead to work out the terms of the agreement among the entities and the authority.

In exchange for the three entities taking on the nearly $12 million in airport debt, the airport authority will:

• Allow the entities to participate in the approval process of any leases or sales;

• Give net proceeds on sales and leases to the entities;

• Continue to contribute $7,000 a month to be split among the entities. This is money the authority has been paying on the 2006 B bond issue and the authority.

• Issue a promissory note to each entity for their amounts.

Five percent of lease payments received will be held in an account by the authority for maintenance and repairs to the facilities in the agreement.

The County Commission OK’d the agreement at a special-called meeting last Wednesday. The Opp Council OK’d it on Monday and the Andalusia Council approved it Tuesday night.