Budget woes may threaten school work

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 25, 2002

Some improvements at the county schools could be put off anotheryear unless the district can find more funding for theprojects.

District officials were planning to have the old Bogue ChittoSchool building torn down, new bleachers installed at Enterprise, anew library built at West Lincoln and a new sewage system put in atLoyd Star. However, when bids for the work were received, they werehigher than anticipated.

“We were something like $67,000 short of what we needed to geteverything done,” said Superintendent of Education Perry Miller atthe school board meeting Tuesday.

He informed board members that the district would seek morefunds from the Mississippi Public School Building Fund and theMississippi Adequate Education Program’s capital improvementfunds.

If the district does not get the $67,000, officials willprioritize the projects.

“I feel like we will at least need to go ahead and tear down thebuilding at Bogue Chitto because it’s a possible health hazard,”said Miller about the old two-story building that containsasbestos.

In other financial matters, board members heard from NatPrestidge with Crownpointe Resources, Inc., of Jackson.

The company was given permission to nominate the east half ofSection 16, Township 6, Range 8 for competitive bid and advertisefor bids on the re-opening the oil well in that area.

Prestidge explained that it would be a three year lease, withthe district receiving 3/16 royalty. Crownpointe Resources, Inc.will advertise for bids during the next four weeks and accept bidsat the April 15 school board meeting.

In open discussion, board members asked about the status ofpossibly charging tuition to out-of-district students.

The idea was entertained when schools were facing major cutslast month, but was tossed aside when the budget was almost fullyfunded by legislators.

Miller said the district had not ruled out the option forbringing in more revenue, but it would be put on hold untilofficials knew more about the budget situation.

School board members got some good news from Cindy King, head ofchild nutrition in the district, who had received the results ofthe district’s review of child nutrition services.

“It was a very, very good review,” she said. “They had nothingto say but good things.”

In closing, the board changed the date of the next meeting fromApril 1 to 5:30 p.m. April 2 due to the Easter Holiday.