Opp could save $400K or pocket $335K on hospital refinance deal

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The City of Opp has the opportunity to save $400,000 or take some $335,000 in cash to be used for economic development, if it refinances its 2011 bond issue of $6 million to fund Mizell Memorial Hospital.

In 2010, the city floated a $6.5 million bond for Mizell to help the hospital out of a financial bind.

The agreement then allowed the hospital to pay off more than $4.7 million in outstanding bonds as well as make needed repairs and improvements to the building, and the hospital made payments to the city.

The current bond issue has a 4.19 percent interest rate. Randy Ruston with the Frazier Lanier Co., said the new interest rate should be around 2.5 percent.

It will take 30-45 days to go through the process.

If the city elects to take the $335,000 in cash it must be used for economic development projects.

There is a special exemption 7722 that allows additional debt for economic development.

If they take the $400,000 savings, it would lower the payment some.

If they take the cash up front the payment shouldn’t change.

Ruston said he initially spoke to Mayor Becky Bracke about the refinance earlier in her term, but waiting has allowed the amount of cash available to increase.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” Rushton said. “It is very rare that you find a refund with this percentage,” he said. “It’s a big number.”

The city council wanted to look into the refinance a little more before voting on it.

It’s possible they will vote on it at the next meeting.