City Council approves bond issuance for construction of new Walker High School
by Ron Harris
Apr 23, 2014 | 1464 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper City Council members took a huge leap forward Tuesday night in their bid to help fund construction of a new Walker High School.

The council, which reconvened Tuesday night after last week’s council meeting was adjourned, approved issuing bonds totaling more than $54 million for construction of the new school along Viking Drive, as well as paving projects as part of the city’s participation in the ATRIP program.

The city council agreed to $52 million in funding for the new school. An additional $2.46 million will be used in the paving projects, including $500,000 for a paving project on Whitehouse Road.

“This is great news,” Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey said following Tuesday’s meeting. “Most people have no idea what all has gone into this, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Posey credited Matt Adams, senior vice president of public finance for Raymond James-Morgan Keegan financial services in Birmingham, with making the process of the bond issuance a reality.

Adams, who’s also a graduate of Walker High School, and Birmingham attorney Heyward Hosch of Maynard, Cooper & Gale law firm, addressed the bond issuance with the council Tuesday night. Hosch, a well-respected Birmingham attorney, practices in the area of municipal, public and commercial finance including representation as bond counsel in Alabama of cities, counties, boards of education, hospitals and health care organizations.

“We’ve been working with the greatest people who are involved with these type financial transactions,” Posey said, referring to Adams and Hosch. “Working with $54 million is not a small transaction, but they made it a pleasure to work to getting to this point.”

The more than $54 million will be financed over a 30-year period, Posey said, with the city paying an interest rate of 4.15 percent.

Posey said acquiring the low interest rate is huge for the city.

“Ninety-four percent of all bond issuances are rated higher than that,” he said.

Jasper City Schools Superintendent Robert Sparkman, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting, said he’s pleased with the progress he’s seen on the school project.

Bids for initial work on the project, including clearing the property, will be opened Tuesday, and work on clearing the property along Viking Drive is expected to begin in early June, Sparkman said.