The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

September 22, 2013

Compass Bank selected for $1M interim library loan

By Kim West

ATHENS — Library Foundation officials selected a proposal from Compass Bank in Athens for a $1 million line of credit during Thursday’s board meeting at the Athens-Limestone Public Library.

Compass submitted the lowest proposal for the three-year interim loan, said Library Foundation Vice President Susan Ming. She said four local banks submitted formal proposals.

“Compass had the most competitive rate of interest, and this is a good time to borrow money,” Ming said.

During its Aug. 22 board meeting, the Foundation agreed to borrow the money to temporarily finance a portion of the second phase of the new library being built in the former Kroger building on South Jefferson Street in Athens. Ming said the line of credit would be available in advance of Phase II interior work.

Library fundraising consultant Debbie Joyner previously said the Foundation Board has raised $6.1 million, with about $200,000 in outstanding pledges and $500,000 from a planned estate gift.

The Southard Trust, the library’s endowment fund, has contributed $1 million toward construction of the 38,427-square foot library. Joyner said the board has set a goal of replenishing the $1 million from the trust, while also repaying through further fundraising and pledge collections any money drawn from the $1 million line of credit.

Joyner said Phase II drawings and bid packages would be ready by late October or early November. The exterior work of Phase I is scheduled for completion by Nov. 30, and the new library could be finished by June 2014, according to construction officials.