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Sponsorship was not from city

By By Paul Keane
Publisher
Despite reports to the contrary, the City of Atmore did not donate $5,000 to Governor-elect Bob Riley's inauguration festivities.
In response to a Thursday article in The Mobile Register, Mayor Howard Shell said the city itself did not make the donation to the events that will unfold today and Monday in Montgomery as Riley is sworn in as the next governor of Alabama. Instead, donations are made privately and through the Industrial Development Board of Atmore.
"The money did not come from the city nor city funds," Shell said Thursday afternoon. "We asked the Attorney General's office what could be done, and we were told that the Industrial Development Board could purchase a small advertisement in the program. Money for that ad was earmarked for promoting the area, and was obtained through grants and other programs
"The Industrial Development Board purchased a small ad for $1,200, and then we collected right around $3,500 in private contributions that were forwarded on to the inauguration committee."
Shell said no city monies were used for the donation, and that all the necessary paperwork to document that claim was made.
"What we did was perfectly legal, and we want to make that very clear," Shell said. "An ad was purchased by the Industrial Development Board and the rest of the money was raised by and from private citizens of the city."