|2005-11-23 Special Session|
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
The Prattville City Council met in special session on Wednesday, November 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Roll was called and Councilmen Wood and Miller were recorded as being absent. After the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, Council President Argo gave the invocation.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: November 15, 2005 council minutes. Councilman Renegar made the motion to adopt the minutes and Councilman Macready seconded the motion. The minutes were approved (5-0).
Mayor Byard began by thanking the citizens of Prattville for the overwhelming support they have shown regarding the $48,000,000.00 bond issue. He expressed his appreciation to those who had called him, written letters and approached him in public with legitimate concerns and important questions.
The Mayor reminded those in attendance that 20-25 years ago, the City Council voted to run water and sewer lines out to Interstate I-65 at a time when only one hotel was located in that area. At the time, citizens could not imagine the business growth that would occur, and therefore, were opposed to the idea.
He also spoke of the City Council that voted to approve a $6,000,000.00 bond issue in 1996 for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The Mayor noted that just last year 60,000 golfers who do not live here played our RTJ golf course. The Mayor also added that lodging taxes had increased from $150,000.00 in 1999 to $1,300,000.00 in 2004.
Councilman Wood arrived at 4:15 p.m.
Reid Cavnar, 104 Scarlet Oak Court, Prattville, AL 36066, appeared before the Council as a representative of Merchant Capital, the City’s Investment Bank. He reiterated that although they are authorizing the full amount of $48,000,000.00, it does not mean that the full amount must, or will be, spent.
He reminded those in attendance that as state and federal funds are made available for road and intersection improvements, loan funds will be paid back. Mr. Cavnar also stated that some of the funds will be placed in a reserve fund, which is a common practice that ensures that the debt will be paid until things are up and running.
Councilman Renegar noted that Merchant Capital was instrumental in making it possible for Lonestar Plastics to locate in Prattville and further noted that the company had not been offered an incentive package to bring approximately 170 jobs to Prattville.
Council President Argo asked Mr. Cavnar to clarify the definition of validation. Mr. Cavnar said that the purpose of the validation hearing is for the courts to verify that the City has done all that is legally required in the bond issue process.
Mr. Larry Puckett, 507 Fiveash Oaks, Prattville, AL 36066, appeared before the Council as Vice Chairman of the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. Mr. Puckett stated that the committee had spent countless hours on this project in an effort to create numerous jobs and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Prattville.
Council President Argo thanked Mr. Puckett for the time he volunteers to the community in his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Economic Development Committee.
At this time Council President Argo stated that he had received a copy of a letter that was addressed to City Clerk Gina P. Smith from Council President Pro Tempore Tom Miller. The letter explained Councilman Miller’s absence from the evening’s meeting and expressed his full support of the $48,000,000.00 bond issue. It was read into the minutes and a copy of the letter is attached.
Councilman Macready left the council chambers at 4:35 p.m. and returned at 4:36 p.m.
Council President Argo read a letter from Mr. Bob Lee, 112 Quail Run, Prattville, AL, 36067, who expressed his concerns regarding the bond issue. A copy of Mr. Lee’s letter is attached.
Council President Argo recognized State Representative Mac Gipson, Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson, District Attorney Randall Houston, Former City Councilman Gene Hall, Former City Councilman Bobby Carter, Circuit Clerk Whit Moncrief, and Former Probate Judge Jim Corley who were in attendance at the evening’s meeting.
Citizens who attended the evening’s meeting had an opportunity to sign a form in opposition or support of the bond issue if they wished to speak before the Council. Council President Argo allowed them to speak by alternating between the two lists beginning with the opposition list.
The following citizens signed to speak in opposition to the bond issue:
Ms. Jon Lee Finnegan 211 Deer Trace Street, Prattville, AL 36067
Councilman Wood left the council chambers at 5:40 p.m. and returned at 5:42 p.m.
The following citizens signed to speak in support of the bond issue:
Gene Hall 206 Stewart Street, Prattville, AL 36067
At 5:50 p.m., Council President Argo called for a 10 minute recess. At 6:00 p.m. the Council went back into session.
At 6:40 p.m. Council President Argo called for a five minute recess. The Council went back into session at 6:45 p.m. Council President Argo informed those present at the meeting that if it appears that there is not sufficient discussion about the agenda items after each Resolution is introduced, the reason is because each issue has been discussed by all councilmembers in great detail for several months in various meetings. He further added that in the event a councilmember wishes to speak regarding these issues, the floor will be open for discussion at the appropriate time.
1. RESOLUTION: TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE THE EXPENDITURE OF NOT MORE THAN $5,500,000 FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDESIGNNING AND UPGRADING THE INTERSECTION OF COBBS FORD ROAD AND REDFIELD/ROCKY MOUNT ROADS AND ADJACENT PORTIONS OF REDFIELD ROAD AND ROCKY MOUNT ROAD, AND PORTIONS OF COBBS FORD ROAD LOCATED EAST AND WEST OF THE INTERSECTION FROM INTERSTATE HIGHWAY 65 TO ALABAMA HIGHWAY 6, INCLUDING PAYMENT OF COSTS OF DESIGN, STORM DRAINAGE, GRADING, SIGNALIZATION, AND ALL OTHER RELATED COSTS. (RESOLUTION BOOK 2205-A, PAGE 015).
Councilman Renegar made the motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilman Fank seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:
2. RESOLUTION: TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE THE EXPENDITURE BY THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE OF NOT MORE THAN $8,000,000 TO ALLOW THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE, OR TO PROVIDE SUCH FUNDS TO THE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE, TO ACQUIRE THE LAND AT THE NORTHWEST QUADRANT OF THE INTERSECTION OF COBBS FORD ROAD AND INTERSTATE HIGHWAY 65, AND TO MAKE INFRASTRUCTURES AND SITE IMPROVEMENTS ON THE PROPERTY TO BE LEASED TO BASS PRO OUTDOOR WORLD, LLC OR A RELATED ENTITY TO LOCATE A BASS PRO SHOP OUTDOOR WORLD RETAIL STORE OF AT LEAST 100,000 SQUARE FEET ON THE LEASED PROPERTY. (RESOLUTION BOOK 2005-A, PAGE 016).
Councilman Fank made the motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilman Macready seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the vote was called and the Resolution was adopted with the following results:
Councilman Macready made the motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilman Fank seconded the motion. There being no discussion the Resolution was adopted with the following vote:
4. RESOLUTION: TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE THE EXPENDITURE BY THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE OF NOT MORE THAN $7,500,000 TO PAY THE COSTS OF ACQUISITION AND SITE IMPROVEMENTS TO BE PAID TO PRATTCENTER, LLC IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF A RETAIL SHOPPING CENTER TO BE LOCATED AT THE SOUTHWEST QUADRANT OF THE INTERSECTION OF COBBS FORD ROAD AND REDFIELD ROAD, COMPRISING AT LEAST 330,000 SQUARE FEET OF LEASABLE AREA AND INCLUDING AT LEAST TWO ANCHOR TENANTS OCCUPYING NOT LESS THAN 100,000 SQUARE FEET AND 80,000 SQUARE FEET OF LEASABLE AREA IN THE RETAIL SHOPPING CENTER. (RESOLUTION BOOK 2005-A, PAGE 018).
Councilman Gillespie made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilman Councilman Renegar seconded the motion. The Resolution was adopted with the following vote:
5. RESOLUTION: TO AUTHORIZE AND APPROVE THE EXPENDITURE BY THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE OF NOT MORE THAN $15,000,000 TO PAY COSTS OF SITE AND INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO BE PAID TO MCCLINTON & COMPANY, INC. AND AIG BAKER DEVELOPMENT, OR A RELATED ENTITY OR JOINT VENTURE OR TO THE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PRATTVILLE OR OTHER PUBLIC CORPORATION, IN CONNECTION WITH CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF A RETAIL SHOPPING CENTER TO BE LOCATED AT THE NORTHWEST QUADRANT OF THE INTERSECTION OF COBBS FORD ROAD AND INTERSTATE 65, COMPRISING AT LEAST 450,000 SQUARE FEET OF LEASABLE AREA AND INCLUDING ANCHOR STORES, OTHER RETAIL STORES, RESTARURANTS, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, HOTELS AND OTHER OUTPARCELS. (RESOLUTION BOOK 2005-A, PAGE 019).
Councilman Wood made the motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilman Macready seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:
Mayor Byard wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Councilman Wood noted that during the bond issue process, certain individuals had made insinuations that City leaders had been involved in illegal dealings. He wanted to make it perfectly clear that during his 18 years of service on the Prattville City Council, he had never been involved in anything illegal. He further stated that the City Council wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to move the city forward.
Councilman Argo thanked everyone for coming out to share their concerns and support for the bond issue. He reminded everyone that this Prattville City Council will be held accountable for the outcome of this endeavor.
There being no further business to come before the Council, Councilman Macready made the motion to adjourn and Councilman Fank seconded the motion. The meeting closed at 7:00 p.m.