AG opinion OKs city's bond plan
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
An attorney general's opinion issued March 22 confirms that Amendment 752, which was approved by voters of Hartselle and Morgan County on June 29, 2004, is effective and can be used as an incentive to attract commercial development within the city's corporate limits.
In a letter to Mayor Dwight Tankersley, Brenda F. Smith, chief, Opinions Division, said the amendment (Act 2004-391) was proclaimed ratified by Gov. Bob Riley July 30, 2004, and is listed in the official recompilation of the Alabama Constitution of 1901.
Tankersley said he requested the opinion after questions arose early in his administration about the constitutional amendment's status.
"We wanted to make sure that we didn't get into a commercial development project involving the amendment without first knowing that the amendment is legal and binding," he said.
"I see the amendment as a great tool for the city to use to attract the right commercial development," Tankersley said. "By 'right' I mean a destination-type business that would fill a market gap, generate new revenue for the city and draw other businesses around it."
"We don't have a proposed project of that kind at this time," he added.
The amendment was approved 1,764 to 1,669 by Hartselle and Morgan County voters in the June 29, 2004, run-off election.
It allows the city to issue limited obligation bonds for the purpose of buying, selling, leasing or developing commercial development projects. Sales and use tax revenues generated by the development would be used to pay off the bonds.