District clarifies tax note process

vFrom Press, Staff Reports

Webster County Schools will assess millage only as a last resort and if necessary to repay a tax note being issued to cover the cost of construction at East Webster High School’s campus in Cumberland.

As reported last week, the county School Board adopted a resolution Oct. 2 for a limited tax note to establish a line of credit to cover construction costs until the Webster County School District receives reimbursement funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi EMA and insurance.

A legal notice about the resolution was published in this newspaper Oct. 18 and today. The School Board plans to take final action on the matter at its Nov. 6 meeting.

Superintendent of Education Jack Treloar has issued this statement clarifying information presented in the resolution and article:

“In regards to Webster County Schools’ limited tax note, we are establishing a line of credit to avoid cash flow problems during the construction of East Webster High School. As construction at East Webster High School progresses through phases we are billed for those phases.

“With the destruction of the EWHS campus being a result of a tornado, we are assured that FEMA MEMA and insurance will pay the cost of the construction through reimbursements. This process is expected to take several months. We will begin with using all funds that the district has available and try to expedite all reimbursements from insurance, FEMA and MEMA.

“The limited tax note cannot exceed three mills, which would only be assessed as a last resort and if necessary after July 1, 2013. If it becomes necessary we would draw down only what was needed to cover our bills and repay the note immediately as we received reimbursements.

“The superintendent and Board of Education will continue to work closely with the Board of Supervisors to ensure that all tax dollars are spent wisely and no unnecessary tax burden is placed on the citizens of Webster County.

“The resolution that was presented in The Webster Progress-Times was a standard resolution and legally had to written up the way it was presented. Webster County Schools has no intentions of this being a long-term loan, nor do we intend to use this money for anything other than cash flow issues and only if necessary while waiting on reimbursements.

“Just like the Board of Supervisors, Webster County Schools is forced to wait on FEMA, MEMA and the insurance company for funds to be disbursed and as soon as they are received we will pay back any loans with little or no cost to the taxpayers.”