Opp Council authorizes refinance of 2007 bonds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2016

In a 4-1 vote Thursday, the Opp City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the refinance of a portion of the 2007 bond issue.

The city was able to net more than $1 million in savings from the refinance of the bond issue and a lower interest rate of just over 3 percent with the refinance.

The total amount of this bond is $9.1 million.

The city’s special 1-cent sales tax will still go to fund the debt service on the bond issue as passed in 2007 when the portion was secured for the building of the new elementary school.

Arlin Davis made the motion. Mike Booth seconded it.

TD Morgan cast the lone vote against it.

From the beginning of the long discussion about the bond refinance, which began in late January, Morgan has voiced his opposition to the refinance unless all the money went to Opp City Schools.

The current agreement gives the city around $500,000 and the school system around $500,000. The school system also is giving $50,000 of their money to help fix the awning at Channell-Lee Stadium.

“I want everyone to understand that I was for the school getting all the money or for the us putting it on our $33 million debt,” Morgan said.

Mayor John Bartholomew said he understood that.

“Can I say something?” councilwoman Mary Brundidge said.

“Apparently you can,” Bartholomew said.

“I’d like to know and put it down in writing, where this money is going,” she said.

See related story: Brundidge to Bartholomew: Don’t bribe me

“No, no ma’am, we’re not talking about that,” he said. “We are talking about passing an ordinance. That’s all we are going to talk about today.”

Brundidge said she would go along this time.

Earlier this week, council members said they did not recall having authorized the mayor to complete a bond issue, only to “explore” it.