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Council okays park bonds

By By Arthur McLean Managing Editor
Atmore secured the final portion of financing to acquire land for its proposed industrial park near I-65 Monday.
The council unanimously approved $3.98 million in general obligations bonds for the final land purchases to create the industrial park.
The city's second round of acquisitions totals more than 235 acres from the Alabama Department of Corrections.
The bonds will have a term of 25 years and have a floating interest rate. The city's initial interest rate on the bonds will total 2.15 percent. SouthTrust bank is providing the financing.
Councilman John Garrard abstained from voting on the matter, due to a financial interest in a local bank.
Portions of the money will be earmarked for capital improvement projects within the city, said Mayor Howard Shell.
The Atmore City Council approved the first of two general obligation bonds Feb. 9 for the first round of land purchases.
The first bonds will finance $1.45 million and pay off a short-term note the city used initially to purchase the property.
That noted is valued at $1.175 million. By using general obligation bonds, the city was able to reduce its interest rate and extend the payment period. The first series of bonds mature in 2021.
The city's total amount of purchases is expected to cost $3.75 million, with the city financing more than $5 million.
The total amount of land purchased for the project will total more than 640 acres of land. Included in the financing documents is a resolution officially designating the area as an industrial area.
The next step in development is the continued surveying of the property and wetlands mitigation in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers and the Department of Corrections.
Mayor Howard Shell said the city would be working with the Department of Corrections to preserve wetlands outside the boundary of the industrial park.
In other action, the council:
Approved a proclamation supporting Black History Month and naming prominent African American citizens from in and around Atmore.
Approved a resolution congratulating the Escambia Academy boys and girls basketball teams on their state championships.
Granted a business license to T.A.P Enterprises to hold a tool sale in the city.