WCSB adopts tax note measure

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

The Webster County School Board plans to borrow money to cover East Webster High School construction costs until reimbursement funds are received.

Superintendent of Education Treloar presented a resolution to the board for a limited tax note on Oct 2, according to meeting minutes. The tax note will be used to establish a line of credit to cover construction costs until the district receives reimbursement from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, FEMA and insurance.

The board did adopt the resolution upon a motion made by Keith Hudspeth (District 5) and seconded by Scott Hollenhead (District 4). The minutes do not specify but the construction apparently refers to that under way at East Webster High’s campus in Cumberland.

The board intends to borrow a maximum of $1.775 million for these purposes: • make repairs, alterations and additions to district school buildings; • for erecting school buildings and other buildings used for school purposes; • for buying heating plants, air conditioning, fixtures and equipment for the buildings; • buying land for school purposes; • for improving and equipping that land for school recreational and athletic purposes; • to pay the costs of borrowing the money, including any capitalized interest or reserve fund, if necessary.

The resolution states that no funds are available in the district’s school funds or from any other source with which to pay the costs of the project. It adds that an annual levy of a special tax of up to 3 mills on the dollar of assessed value of taxable property within the district will be sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the notes to be issued. The notes are to repaid within 16 years, with the first installment of principal due within one year from the date delivered. Board members will take final action on the question of authorizing the borrowing of the money at its Nov. 6 meeting unless a petition is filed requesting an election be called on the question of incurring the indebtedness.

According to the resolution, the district will use funds available in its District Maintenance Fund to pay certain initial costs of the acquisition and construction of the project, which will be reimbursed from a portion of the proceeds of the notes when issued.

New Construction, QSCB Project In a related matter under the topic of new construction, Treloar made this recommendation: “No further construction projects to be started until the costs for new school building (cafeteria/classrooms/office building, auditorium/classrooms and gymnasium) are at a point where we know that the costs don’t exceed the amount we have for reconstruction. No monies should be over-obligated that would cost the district additional funding.”

The new school building is also apparently referring to the construction at EWHS. The board approved the recommendation upon a motion made by Etty Brown (District 3) and seconded by Nancy Davis (District 2). In a matter tabled from Sept. 11, Treloar recommended amendments to the Qualified School Construction Bonds project. After some discussion, according to the minutes, the board again tabled the matter.

Consent Agenda These items were approved as a part of the Consent Agenda on Oct 2, records show: • accepted monetary donation from Meek & Meek Attorneys to the Eupora High School football program, from Eupora Real Estate Inc. to the EHS football program, from 20/20 Optical to the EHS annual staff and from the EHS Cheerleader Booster Club to the EHS cheerleaders. • accepted notice from Food Services Director Amy Rollins that Krystal Ballard had declined the job of cafeteria assistant manager she had been approved for on Sept. 11. • approved Leigh Ann Azlin as a substitute teacher.

Other Business In other business, Kristy Whitaker, Molly Edwards and Katherine Frazier were approved as substitute cafeteria workers; and Terry Jones was approved as a substitute bus driver.

The board approved a request from Rannie Gilliland to allow her granddaughter, Kelbie Tharp, to attend school in Webster County through the tuition program as set forth in a school policy. A letter of release from the Oktibbeha County School District was attached to Gilliland’s request.

EHS Principal Laci Knight introduced Madison Smith as the Webster County Board of Education Student of the Month for October.