Time running out for Stillman College to secure loan for operating expenses

Published: Jul. 20, 2016 at 2:36 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2016 at 2:53 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Time is ticking away for Stillman College to secure a loan to help pay for summer expenses.

Tuesday afternoon during a city committee meeting, Mayor Walt Maddox and other council members said Stillman College means a lot to Tuscaloosa.

The 140-year-old historically black college sits in the city's west end.

"If we do not act, bad things will happen for Stillman college and west Tuscaloosa," Maddox said.

The college needs help paying it's summer operating expenses. Its asking the city to essentially co-sign on an over $650,000 loan.

We're told some of that money coming from at least two groups, including $100,000 from the Presbyterian church.

The college's president Dr. Peter Millet says not many classes are offered in the summer, which is the primary source of income.

"This is something that we have to deal with today and really in my mind it boils down to a willingness to support this very important institution," Millet said.

Last year because of financial hardships, Stillman eliminated a majority of its athletic programs. Despite that, Millet says this type of loan isn't uncommon and he's hoping the city will help.

"Stillman is a part of us and no matter what the reasons are that we may have, I think it's our due diligence to help Stillman," Sonya McKinistry, a city councilwoman, said.

"I know that the eight of us in this room want Stillman college to succeed and we want the city to work in its authority to stand shoulder to shoulder with Stillman," Maddox added.

Stillman has offered up athletic facilities and other buildings as collateral for the loan. We're told the city could give Stillman money through its public purpose fund. Maddox tells us the money would not be upfront.

A special called meeting to discuss the loan will take place on Friday.

Stillman has until next Monday to secure the loan.

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