School boards in Tallapoosa County are one step closer to issuing bonds for building facilities in Alexander City and lowering the interest rate on bonds for county schools.

The Tallapoosa County Commission approved a resolution at Monday’s meeting to allow the Alexander City Board of Education to seek $50 to $55 million in bonds for projects using the most recent 1-cent sales tax to fund the repayment. County administrator Blake Beck said this was expected.

“We were advised by legal counsel they would have to come back with a resolution,” Beck said. “They need this resolution to proceed with bonds.”

The commission’s approval of a resolution for the Tallapoosa County Board of Education will allow the bonds, which were issued nearly a decade ago, to be refinanced at a lower interest rate.

“The county commission did this bond in 2010,” Beck said. “They have decided to refund this issue to take advantage of savings.”

Commissioners approved signing a three-year contract with Association of County Commissions of Alabama for liability insurance for the fiscal years 2021-24. The longer contract will result in savings for insurance program the county has been a part of since 2000.

“If you agree to a three-year contract, we can get a discount of about $15,000,” Beck said. “We have been involved in it for a while.”

Tallapoosa County EMA director Jason Moran said the Alexander City Fire Department received a grant for $35,211 to purchase hazmat gear for the department’s hazardous materials response team. The grant will be used to purchase personal protective suits and accessories for the group. The ACFD hazardous materials team responds to calls beyond Alexander City. The funds come from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency under the Homeland Security Grant Program. ACFD chief Reese McAlister said the grant is due to Moran’s efforts.

“I appreciated Jason on how much he assists with these grants,” McAlister said. “This is the second one he has helped us get.”

Moran said the bid process for the equipment will start soon.

Moran also introduced Brandy Hardy as the new administrative assistant for the department.

Tallapoosa County Probate Judge Tal East informed the commission the Tallapoosa County Democrat and Republian parties had gotten the list of candidates to the probate office and he is expecting a sample ballot the week of Christmas.

The commission entered an executive session to discuss an economic development matter. Tom Lamberth, Steve Arnberg and Roger Holliday stayed in the session for 45 minutes before exiting to allow more discussion. No action was taken by the commission after the executive session.

In other action the commission:

• Approved an extension of a franchise agreement with Charter to match Brighthouse. The two-year extension will be taken up again when the Brighthouse agreement comes due.

• Approved spending $135,000 to partner with the City of Alexander City in an equal split to extend a road and form a cul de sac to allow access of three lots on Highway 280 owned by the city.

• Approved a budget amendment for $65,500 to pay for aerial photography that should have been invoiced last fiscal year but was just recently received. The funds were budgeted last fiscal year but were not this fiscal year. 

• Approved warrants and purchase orders

• Approved a final plat for The Willows at Willow Point Phase 2

• Approved a final plat for The Sanctuary on Lake Martin Plat No. 1. The neighborhood is off County Road 34 south of Dadeville.

• Approved declaring surplus two vehicles from the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department and the sale of those vehicles to the Rockford Police Department

• Was reminded the courthouse will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas and Wednesday, Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s.

The next meeting of the Tallapoosa County Commission is at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.