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Clanton to pay $1 million toward conference center debt

Clanton will spend some money now to save more money later.

The City Council, at a regular meeting Monday, approved paying $1 million toward a debt for the construction of the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center.

Along with the upfront payment, the city will pay off the loan early through refinancing and save about $3 million.

The council had previously approved Mayor Billy Joe Driver’s recommendation for the debt restructuring.

A $12 million, 25-year note was signed when the facility—a joint endeavor between the city and Jefferson State Community, which operates a campus adjacent to the center—was constructed in 2007, and the first payment was made by the city in 2008.

The city has made a total of nine annual payments of $870,000 each.

Driver recommended re-issuing the bond for about $9 million remaining on the loan and paying off the debt six years earlier—in 2027 instead of 2033.

In other business, the council:

•Heard from a resident concerned about bed bugs and possibly other pests spreading through rubbish placed by roadsides to be picked up by city garbage crews. Driver recommended the matter be taken under advisement until it could be discussed with health department officials.

•Heard from a resident who was arrested in a case that has been dismissed in municipal court. The resident asked the mayor and council questions about information included in court documents. Driver and council members tried to answer the questions but said the matter is under the jurisdiction of the court instead of the council.

•Approved a restaurant liquor license for Neighborhood Grill, located at 309 Seventh St. N.