Town seeks $4 million credit line

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Vidalia aldermen voted Tuesday to adopt a resolution and ordinance asking the State Bond Commission for permission to borrow up to $4 million to buy power from Louisiana Hydroelectric.

&uot;The town isn’t going to borrow $4 million&uot; all at once, Town Manager Kenneth Davis said during the Board of Aldermen’s Tuesday night meeting. Instead, he said, &uot;a line of line of credit will be established … and we’ll borrow money as needed.&uot;

The commission will probably consider the request in May.

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Vidalia is supposed to receive royalties from the Sidney A. Murray Hydroelectric Station equal to just over 6 percent of the plant’s gross revenues. But the Mississippi River dropped to very low levels in 1999 and 2000, causing the plant to produce little power.

And under a contract between the Louisiana Hydroelectric Partnership and the town, the partnership can defer paying royalties until the plant makes a profit again.

The town expects to start receiving royalties – including more than $2.4 million in back royalties and interest – again in November, said Mayor Hyram Copeland.

Also during the meeting, Copeland presented a plaque to Guylyn Boles, commending her on her service as an interim alderwoman for District 3.

Boles has served since former alderman Bill Murray resigned in August, saying he wanted to build up his business so he can run for mayor in 2004. Jon Betts was elected as alderman on Saturday and will be sworn in in May.

Later in Tuesday’s meeting, Concordia Avenue resident Fred Falkenheiner asked the board what could be done to erect a sound barrier on the north side of the Mississippi River bridge.

&uot;I&160;was born and bred there, so it doesn’t bother me as much,&uot;&160;Falkenheiner said. &uot;But it’s also a matter of privacy.&uot;

Mississippi maintains the north river bridge and has not been interested in erecting such a barrier in the past, said Alderman Vernon Stevens.

But Copeland said he will write letters to the area’s congressional delegation and state lawmakers asking for their help in getting approvals and funding for such a project.

In response to concerns voiced by Vidalia resident Bill McDonough, Copeland also said he would write a letter to Cable One regarding recent rate hikes.

The board approved occupational licenses and sign applications for W&W Mortgage LLC and the law office of Derrick Carson at 811 Carter St. and Zaza’s Collection at 1642 Carter St. It also approved an occupational license for Four Rivers Home Health at 11 Cedar St. due to a change in ownership.

And it was announced that a National Day of Prayer service would be held from 12:20 to 12:40 p.m. May 3 at Town Hall.