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Commission seeks info from SCABC

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission is seeking a list of renters and a copy of bank statements relating to rents and other monies collected for the Hayneville Plaza from the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission.

The rent is to be used to retire the $3.5 million bond by the county commission to purchase the Hayneville Plaza.

Lowndes County Commissioner Dickson Farrior made the request at the last meeting of the county commission, held on April 9.

Farrior wanted the information to be provided by Lowndes County Commission/SCABC Chairman Charlie King Jr.

“I’m not the secretary, and I don’t keep the books, Mr. Farrior,” King said. “Everybody has a right to come and request something from the SCABC Board. I’m not going to be a paper toter because somebody has an agenda that they want to grind… I’m not going to do that.”

Farrior’s motion that King “within three business days furnish the commission information that I’ve asked for” failed to pass on a two-two vote, with King and Commissioner Robert Harris voting “no” and Farrior and Commissioner Joseph Barganier voting “yes.”

A motion by Harris, however, that the request for information Farrior requested go to the SCABC board was seconded by Bargainer and passed four-zero with Bargainer, Farrior, King and Harris all voting “yes.” Commissioner Marzett Thomas was absent.

County Attorney Hank Sanders said last June that the bond statement approved to purchase the Hayneville Plaza was subject to two agreements being executed — a real estate lease agreement between Lowndes County and SCABC that will provide for rent to pay the bond and an agreement between SCABC, Karl Bell, owner of the building, and Lowndes County that $500,000 of the bond proceeds will be set aside to pay that.

In a special meeting held last November, the county commission unanimously approved a lease agreement with the South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District to be used to retire the debt for the purchase of the Hayneville Plaza building in Hayneville.

Attorney Major Madison Jr. of the law firm Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway, and Campbell P.C. stood in for Sanders at that meeting.

“According to what the attorney said, this sets up a way for the county to collect the rent – and you know that’s where I’ve been coming from,” Farrior said at that time. “And hopefully that will be collected and put into a fund to retire the debt completely and just hope this will work.”

When asked about the status of the request for information regarding the rent and other funds collected for the Hayneville Plaza, King said that information needed to be requested from the (SCABC) board.

”Anything that goes out has to be approved by the board,” he said.

County Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas said the letter to request the information from the SCABC Board was to be prepared Wednesday for the attorney (Sanders) to review.

King said the SCABC Board meets every fourth Thursday.