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School board approves BES window project

Brookhaven Elementary School students will be seeing a littlemore clearly in the future following Tuesday’s school boardapproval of an estimated $830,000 window repair and replacementproject.

“We’re repairing and replacing all the windows at BES,” saidSuperintendent Lea Barrett during last night’s board of trusteesmeetings.

Barrett said the district had to get a permit from theMississippi Department of Archives and History to pursue theproject. She said that permit has now been received.

“They would like to landmark the building,” said Barrett,mentioning structural aspects the department considers historic.”They just have not done so yet.”

To fund the project, the board approved a plan to seek a $1.6million bond issue. The bond revenue will also provide funds forschool bus purchases and other building-related projects as needed,officials said.

The tax levy to cover the bond issue, in effect, will be acontinuation of a 3-mill levy that has been in place for the last10 years following a bond issue that was used for bus purchases andsimilar building-related work. The levy was to come off this year,but officials opted to continue it to fund the new bond issue.

“It’s just an extension of the existing bond,” Barrett said.

In other business, school officials heard details on a plan toseek a loan to cover a shortfall in property tax revenue this year.Board attorney Bob Allen said the district had requested $7.2million in property tax revenue but had only received $7.07million.

“This happens about every three years,” said Allen, adding thatthere are a number of factors that could contribute to theshortfall happening.

In those cases, the board borrows the funds and then pays theloan back over the next three years. School officials did notexpect payments on the $223,000 shortfall loan over three years tohave a great impact on the tax levy.

“Basically, that becomes part of future budgets,” added boardmember Carl Aycock.