Commission votes to refund and refinance bonds
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA COUNTY – The County Commission voted unanimously Monday night to refund and refinance the Economic Development Authority bonds from 2003 that went to help Honda expand.

According to Frank McPhillips, a lawyer who worked with County Administrator Wayne Hall, finance officer Cynthia Harkness and County Attorney Barry Vaughn on the proposal, said it will save the county an estimated $700,000.

The refunding of the bonds by the commission is made possible by Amendment 772 to the Alabama Constitution of 1901. Unfortunately, the amendment was not particularly well written, and there are some conflicts with local laws. As a result, the commission will need to get several validations done before the refund and refinance can go forward.

This will involve asking the Talladega County Circuit Court for a series of declarative judgements. The argument against the validations will be made by the Talladega County District Attorney’s Office.

McPhillips said he has already talked to DA Steve Giddens, who said he had no problem with the proposal and would offer token opposition in court.

The validation hearings will likely be set for the week of Feb. 4.

Commission Chairman Kelvin Cunningham thanked all of the people who worked on the proposal for all the time they had put in.

Also Monday, the commission:

• Approved an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for safety projects on Pine Grove Road and Alabama Ave.

• Approved budget amendments for the revenue department to reflect increased expenses, and for the road department and domestic violence to move money between accounts.

• Approved conference requests for two assessors and Road Department Director Tim Markert.

• Accepted the retirement of a corrections officer, a probational increase for a laborer and a one step salary adjustment for all full time employees, retroactive to Dec. 30.

• Posted five open positions in the Road Department.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

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