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City council to reap savings on golf course refinance
by Liz Marino
lmarino@neighbornewspapers.com
January 09, 2013 10:50 AM | 1280 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Douglasville City Council voted during a special session last week to refinance West Pines Golf Club at a significant savings to the city.

When the city purchased the golf course in 2005, the city financed $4.3 million through Merchant Capital at 5.95 percent interest, to be paid off in 2035.

By refinancing the remaining debt with Morgan Keegan, the city will lower the interest rate to 2.41 percent and reap a present-day dollar savings of $918,000, officials said.

The debt will be paid off as within the previous arrangement through 2035.

Morgan Keegan representative Bill Camp explained to the council that the city’s bond rating had increased from an A plus to AA minus “two notches from the federal government’s rating.”

In other business, the council voted to accept a $90,578 grant on behalf of the Douglasville Police Department from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency for SWAT purposes.

According to Police Chief Chris Womack, the funds would be used for purchase of a command control vehicle and robot, which will enhance the capability of SWAT uses and other circumstances.

The police department will add the additional $160,000 needed for the equipment through confiscated money, with no additional cost to the city, said Womack.

“Both pieces of equipment will be in services for quite some time,” said the police chief.

Mayor Harvey Persons appointed Douglasville resident and businessman Jack Tysor to the Post 7 Convention and Conference Center Authority.

With the vacancy, the authority did not meet a quorum, so the new authority member had to be able to start immediately, explained City manager Bill Osborne.

The city council also adopted a resolution setting forth the city of Douglasville’s priority issues expected to be considered during the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, which begins Jan. 14.

The mayor and council met with members of the Douglas County legislative delegation Friday morning to discuss the city’s priorities.

The first was passage by the Legislature of the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Act, which was initiated by the Georgia Municipal Association.

“We would like to see this piece of legislation enacted,” said Persons. “We feel it will be a boost to Georgia downtowns.”

The act offers tax incentives to revitalize Georgia downtown areas, said Persons.

Municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins brought the second priority to legislators’ attention for the defeat of a proposal to decriminalize minor traffic offenses.

“This could hamper municipal courts of doing their jobs,” said Rollins. “Without enforcement, people will ignore fines and this will hamper the effectiveness of court and have an impact on public safety.”
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