By Nick Nunn Staff Writer

The Downtown Development Authority of Madison (DDA) adopted a bond resolution in the amount of $1,110,000 at 1.5 percent interest rate for a period of five years, which will allow the city of Madison to refinance the remaining debt on the Town Park project.

The Madison City Council then ratified the DDA’s resolution and authorized Mayor Bruce Gilbert to sign the lease contract for the city.

John Pannell, who serves as bond attorney for the city, said that BB&T purchased the bond and that Robert W. Baird will serve as placement agent for the bond.

Pannell stated that all bonds in the state of Georgia have to be validated and that the tentative validation hearing date for the bond will be December 18.

If the bond is validated on Dec. 18, the city will be able to close on the bond the next day, Dec. 19. Council Member Joe DiLetto asked Pannell why the contract involving the bond is called a lease in the paperwork, and Pannell explained that, since Town Park will stay under the DDA’s ownership until it is completely paid off, the agreement is technically a lease.

During the city council meeting, the council also approved of a motion to accept a donation of 18.8 acres of land, which will serve as an expansion of the city cemetery in the future, from the Pritchard family.

Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan described the acceptance of the tract as a “legacy project” and stated that the expansion of the cemetery that the donation will satisfy the “next 100 to 150 years of city burials.”

“The family has been very gracious,” continued Callahan. “I think it is great that we can do this,” said Mayor Gilbert. “This one’s been working for a long time.” Since the motion to accept the donated property was approved, the city was slated to close on the land Tuesday, Nov. 26.