Lanett votes to refinance electric warrants, saving over $200k a year

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2021

LANETT — The Lanett City Council on Monday suspended the rules and adopted on a first reading an ordinance to refinance its electric revenue warrants. It’s the second time since the warrants were issued in 2007 that there has been refinancing.

“The monthly and yearly payments will remain the same,” Mayor Kyle McCoy said. “The payout will remain in 2037. We are reducing the interest rate from three to two percent. We’ll capture some savings by doing this.”

The refinancing will free up some $232,000 that will be dedicated to improvements in city recreation.

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“It will be going into a special account for recreation,” McCoy said. “It will be kept separate from other city funds. We hope to use these funds to improve recreation sites around the city. We want to have more participation in these programs.”

“This will be good for capital improvements,” Council Member Tony Malone said.

Council Member Tifton Dobbs said he was pleased to see more money going into recreation.

The mayor appointed Dobbs to the city’s recreation committee where he will be working with Malone and Council Member Angelia Thomas.

“We want everyone to have an opportunity to express their ideas on what we can do to improve recreation,” McCoy said. “The finance committee will be looking at the affordability of what we can do.”

“The takeaway for this refinancing,” said the mayor, “is that we can get some extra money and do it without extending anything. The payout is still the same.”

In other action at Monday’s council meeting, the city approved its share of a three-year agreement with the Chambers County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) on continuing 9-1-1 service. Parties to the agreement include the cities of Lanett, Valley and LaFayette, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District, the Huguley Water Authority, the Chambers County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and the EMA.

Under the new agreement, Lanett will be paying $13,688.79 a month starting on Oct. 1 of this year. That goes up to $14,099.45 a month on Oct. 1, 2022, and $14,663.43 per month on Oct. 1, 2023.

Fire & EMS Chief Johnny Allen was appointed to another term to represent the city on the Chambers County 9-1-1 Board.

Council Member Jamie Heard thanked local law enforcement agencies and the city’s street department for their recent presence in his district.

“I want to thank our police department, Alabama State Troopers and other agencies for what they did in West Shawmut a couple of weekends ago,” he said. “I also want to thank our street department for the work they have been doing there in recent days.”

In early April, there were two weekends in a row when large crowds were gathering in West Shawmut. Many of the people coming in were from out of county and out of state. It drew complaints from West Shawmut residents of public drinking and illegal drug use, racing cars on city streets, parking in their yards without permission and congregating on their property.

An enhanced law enforcement presence on the third weekend discouraged the same thing happening for a third straight weekend.

McCoy said he wanted to thank West Shawmut residents for their patience in putting up with it until the city could deal with it.

“This is Teacher Appreciation Week,” Heard said. “I want to thank our teachers for the work they do. I think we have some of the best teachers anywhere right here in Lanett.”

Council Member Charles Looser echoed that comment and thanked the street department for having done some work in his district as well.

“We need to say a special thank you to our teachers for the job they have done in the past year,” he said. “It has been a difficult year for them with the shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s tough for a teacher not being able to see their kids every day.”

McCoy said he was glad to see a carnival in town. Lisko Family Midways is set up in the parking lots next to El Rio Mexican Restaurant and will be in town through Mother’s Day.