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400 West 19th Street
Jasper, AL 35501
Phone 205-221-2100

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City refinances previous bond issuance

RON HARRIS, DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Jasper City Council members approved an ordinance Tuesday morning to issue bonds totaling more than $38.7 million.

The bond issuance will serve as a way to refinance a 2014 bond issuance of more than $52 million for the construction of the new Jasper High School.

Matt Adams of Raymond James Financial Services said the timing of the bond issuance comes because of lower interest rates that can lead to more than $5.5 million in savings for the city over the life of the bond.

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Council recognizes Jasper firefighters

RON HARRIS, DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE
Wednesday, Februart 19, 2020

Jasper firefighters were recognized during Tuesday’s Jasper City Council meeting for their actions in preventing what could have been a catastrophic event. 

Two weeks ago, an 18-wheeler hauling cattle burst into flames while sitting at the gas pumps at Love’s Truck Stop just off Interstate 22. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene and found the truck fully engulfed in flames. They were able to quickly extinguish the blaze to prevent what could have been a deadly explosion.

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Jasper Mayor David O’Mary said the savings “certainly will provide some money for operating the city, much like it would when someone refinances their home to get a lower interest rate.”

O’Mary said the bond issuance will create no new debt for the city and it won’t lengthen the terms of the original bond.

“Nobody’s taxes went up, and we don’t have any investment other than what ink it took to sign the documents,” he said. 

In all, refinancing the previous debt will lead to $5,546,000 in savings for the city. 

O’Mary said the savings will amount to more than $300,000 in the first year alone — enough to buy several police patrol vehicles, as an example. 

“Over time, it averages out about $220,000 a year in savings,” he said. “That doesn’t fall into some slot where we’re lacking, it stacks on top of the sound operation we have in the city. We can deploy those savings for the benefit to the people of this city in some form or fashion.”

The savings haven’t been earmarked for any specific use, O’Mary said, “but they will be used wisely.”

“I think the mayor’s experience in understanding the market and banking played a big role in him deciding to wait until the market was favorable to do this,” city clerk Kathy Chambless said. “There were times I was sweating thinking maybe we made the wrong decision on waiting to do this, but as it turned out this was absolutely the best decision we could have made.”

In other business, council members:

• presented a proclamation in observance of International Rare Disease Day in Alabama.

O’Mary presented the proclamation to 5-year-old Gus Matthews, who has Wiedemann-Steiner syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental delays, unusual facial features, short stature and a reduction in muscle tone. Gus was the first child in Alabama to be diagnosed with the disease, according to his mother, Candice Matthews. The proclamation read, in part, that “rare diseases are not rare, as there are over 6,000 identified rare diseases and more than 300 million people around the world are living with a rare disease.”The proclamation declares Feb. 29 as Rare Disease Day in the city. The Alabama Rare Disease Symposium will be held Feb. 22 in Birmingham.

• presented a proclamation in observance of Arbor Day. O’Mary read the proclamation, which declared Feb. 18 as Arbor Day in the city.

The proclamation said Arbor Day was first recognized in 1872 and was marked by planting more than 1 million trees in Nebraska. 

Arbor Day is now observed throughout the U.S. and the world. The proclamation stated, “trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife.” Jasper has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for almost 30 years.

• adopted an amendment to the city’s budget to provide $6,000 in funding for improvements on Airport Road. 

• approved a request from city purchasing agent Derleda Abrom to send out bid invitations for storm shelters and LED lighting at the Memorial Park Natatorium.

• approved travel for council members who will be attending the National League of Cities Conference in Washington, D.C., March 6-11.

• adopted a resolution to allow O’Mary to enter into a contract with the Walker County Sports Hall of Fame to promote athletic programs in the city.

• adopted a resolution to set costs for a property that was previously placed under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance. The council also approved city planner Keith Pike’s request to place four properties under the ordinance because they have been deemed unsafe structures, and one property because of an inoperative vehicle parked on the property.

 
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Located in northwest Alabama on Interstate Highway 22, Jasper is a thriving retail hub, center of growing industrial development and home to approximately 14,000 residents. Enjoying one of the top ranked education systems in the State of Alabama, ongoing renovated Park & Recreation programs and its close proximity to the outstanding recreation areas such as Smith Lake, Bankhead National Forest and the Warrior River makes it an attractive area for relocation. Mayor David O'Mary would like to welcome you to our city and web site.


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