Headlines Cont. – 11/18/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 18, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – November 18, 2005


Steelmatic will open plant in Sardis
By Jason C. Mattox

Sardis and Panola Partnership officials are expected today to announce with representatives of Steelmatic Wire Inc. the location of a galvanized rod and wire manufacturing facility in the old Air Kontrol building in the Sardis Industrial Park. Modifications to the building began this week as a new tenant began bringing in its equipment, Sardis Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said.

Panola Partnership Executive Director "Sonny" Simmons said that a key to the company’s decision to locate in the facility was a grant of up to $150,000 through the Mississippi Development Authority’s Rural Impact Authority. Grant funds will be used for infrastructure modifications necessary for Steelmatic.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Simmons praised Rural Impact Authority Director Johnny Thompson, who worked directly with the local officials.

"They really stepped up to the plate and helped us," Simmons said.

Steelmatic’s galvanized rods and wires are used in various custom applications including the manufacture of auto components, the Partnership director said.

"The contract should be signed by Friday (today)," Dye told The Panolian by phone from Florida.

Dye said the company is looking to employ a maximum of 15 skilled-labor employees at first, but will look to expand its work force in the future.

Steelmatic officials will be working the personnel of the WIN Job Center in Batesville to establish criteria for the employees needed by the company.

Northwest Community College will establish training for the company’s employees, Simmons said.

Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association assessed power service modifications necessary for the new manufacturing process, also according to Simmons.

"They’re going to start work on their upgrades immediately," he added.

"The building is bigger than they wanted," Mayor Dye said. "They were looking for 30,000 square feet and this building is 40,000 square feet.

"The extra space could mean bringing in a line to manufacture other items," Dye added.

The mayor said the new company hopes to be operating in early 2006.

Today’s announcement is especially good news for the City of Sardis.

"Having this company come in gets the city out from under the loan payment we have been responsible for since Air Kontrol closed," Dye said said.

"They (Steelmatic) will be responsible for the loan and building insurance, so this will be a massive help to the city’s budget."

(John Howell Sr. contributed to this story.)  

‘Unity’ to be presented Saturday
     Tyronda Johnson fixes herself up as the best friend of Kianna in the play Unity.

They’re back. That thoroughly lovable, enjoyable cast of Unity: The family that prays together stays together returns for another round of arguing, crying, fighting siblings and laughter as they deal with all the problems life throws their way.

Saturday, November 19 at 7 p.m. the play will return to the Batesville Jr. High School auditorium.

Pervis Parker, author, actor, director, highlights the cast as Uncle Bilbo who comes to live with the family after the death of his brother.

The underlying message is prayer is the key to unlock the door, Parker said.

Other cast members include widow Shirley, portrayed by Tonya Gipson Stanton; a teenage pregnant daughter Kianna, portrayed by Kianna Leland, a teenage son Paul, portrayed by William Johnson Jr.; youngest daughter Tanika is played by Jessica Cannon; Tyronda Johnson in the dual role of Kianna’s best friend and Bilbo’s girlfriend; and Anderson Boothe as Kianna’s boyfriend and elderly Chester.

People around the state were talking about the play and they were asked to do it again in Batesville.

"Here it is – one more time for you, Batesville," Parker said.

He hopes to get a good, quality tape for reproduction and distribution and asks the public to come out and support him in this effort.

After the play, Parker said so many people came and said how it touched their lives.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Miss. School Board Association which is collecting funds to rebuild schools damaged and destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in August.

Tickets are $12 at the door. For more information, call Parker at 662-578-2583.

School trustees vote to refinance bonds
By Rupert Howell

South Panola School District will soon be saving money by reissuing general obligation bonds first issued in 1998 following Tuesday night’s monthly meeting.

Meeting with Jason Akers of the Watkins and Young bonding attorneys and Greg McMurry of bond underwriters Crews & Associates, figures were presented that indicate refinancing with the lower interest rate would reduce the amount of the actual payment by $50,000 or more for the first four years of the remaining 12 years of the bond issue.

The payment reduction for the remaining eight years of the bond issue were less, ranging from $637.50 to $4,323.76. Total savings over the life of the bonds amounts to $236,356 and does not increase the life of the bonds which are paid out in 2018.

According to Akers and McMurry, state law requires a minimum two percent reduction to refinance bonds. A reduction in the annual payment of 4.06 percent is to be realized according to figures provided to school officials.

The net new debt service totals $8,724,225 while the old debt service totals $8,960,581 with a difference of $236,356.

The bonds being reissued were originally issued to pay for the local portion of South Panola High School which is the most recent new construction in the district.

The debt payment due under the old plan in May of 2006 was $525,986.88. Under the new debt service plan the amount owed this year is $468,975.88..



Copyright 2005-2006 by The Panolian, Inc..  All rights reserved
Copyright 2001-2004 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.