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Morgan County BOE trims long-term debt

Published 11:59am Friday, February 15, 2013

Morgan County School District’s $47 million long-term debt was trimmed to $45 million as a result of action taken by board members at their regular monthly meeting on Feb. 14.

The move resulted from the board’s decision to take $2 million from reserve funds and pay off a debt incurred from leasing school buses and installing lights at athletic playing fields.

“This is money that’s drawing very little interest,” said Superintendent Bill W. Hopkins Jr. “We can use it to pay off debt and free up money to purchase new buses in the future.”

“I feel safe we can pay off the debt without jeopardizing our finances,” said John Godwin, chief school finance officer. “Principal and interest on the debt is about $105,000 per year.”

When questioned about the status of the school district’s reserve, Godwin said a projection of $10.4 million at the end of the current school year would not be affected by the debt pay-off.

The board also approved $86,850 as a budget amendment appropriation for classrooms, libraries and school nurses.

Of the total, teachers will receive $53,350 for supplies, libraries will receive $32,000 for books and nurses will get $1,500 for supplies.

Board member Carolyn Wallace asked the board to consider re-implementing a 50-50 matching program for school improvement projects..

“I think it’s a great idea,” Hopkins stated. “It’s something we need to look into before out next fiscal budget.”


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