Council approves revenue bond issuance for arts center project

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – The Columbiana City Council has approved an ordinance regarding revenue bonds for the new Shelby County Arts Center at Old Mill Square project.

The council voted unanimously in a Nov. 5 meeting to approve the ordinance, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation warrants to allow the city to borrow as much as $2.7 million for the project.

With the ordinance passed, the next step is for the revenue bond issue to be validated in circuit court, according to Brad Cherry, a shareholder at Maynard Cooper & Gale P.C. who does some legal and finance work for the city of Columbiana.

Events are already being held at the 30,000-square-foot facility as work continues on the grounds.

The $2.7 million in revenue bonds was included in the city’s nearly $8.5 million budget the council adopted in September.

Also during the meeting, the council heard from 58 INC. Managing Director Yvonne Murray and Director of Development Melody Whitten about their efforts to promote economic development and business growth in Columbiana and other communities throughout Shelby County.

Murray said the new arts center has had a positive impact on recruiting efforts in Columbiana.

Regarding retail development, Whitten said new businesses that have recently opened, including Dollar Tree, and others like Taco Bell that will open soon are evidence of progress in Columbiana.

Whitten and Murray have helped city leaders facilitate a hotel feasibility study for Columbiana, and “it came back positive,” Whitten said.

“A hotel is in our future,” Mayor Stancil Handley said.

In other business, the council:

  • Agreed to review the city’s guidelines for mobile vending locations, the city’s noise ordinance and the city’s ordinance regarding two-hour parking on Main Street at a work session.
  • Approved for Charlene Tucker and Kayce Watkins to attend the Annual Conference for Municipal Clerks and Administrators in Gulf Shores on Dec. 4-6, with expenses not to exceed $900.
  • Approved to reappoint Commissioner Billy Jones to the Columbiana Housing Authority with a term expiration date of Oct. 1, 2024.
  • Approved for Shelia Gallups to attend the APLS District Meeting in Calera on Nov. 12, with no cost associated with this meeting.