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Creative Financial Planning Will Allow OSD to Fund Projects

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

It might be a bit tight, but the Oxford School District Board of Directors learned Friday that there is enough money to cover all of the district’s bond-funded capital projects without needing to raise the tax millage.

Earlier in the week during the regular board meeting Monday, the trustees learned that the district was close to being $7 million over budget on several projects that were included in the $38 million bond referendum passed two years ago.

OSD-FB-Logo-300x212.jpgThe bond-funded projects include the new Central Elementary school, renovations at Bramlett Elementary, a fine arts building at the high school and a new baseball and softball complex. The construction estimates two years had the total cost at about $38 million. Renovations to Oxford Middle School were considered but it was not part of the bond-funded projects.

However, with the rise of construction costs over the last two years, the projects are now estimated at $42,612,772; however, that amount does not include funds for furniture and supplies and design fees, which brought the estimated total amount to $51,422, 273.

During a budget hearing Friday, OSD business manager Allison Wally explained that the district can finance equipment and furniture that would reduce the $13 million overage to $8.6 million. The district can safely transfer $5 million from the district’s operating funds, reducing the overage to $3.6 million. Taking out the renovations to Oxford Middle School for this year, reduced the overage to $2.7 million. Project operating surplus in the fiscal year 2020 is estimated to be $3.1 million which will leave a $378,390 surplus after the construction of all the projects.

“I’m happy to hear we don’t need to raise the millage and can still do all of our projects,” said Board President Gray Edmonson.

The board also discussed the budget for the fiscal year 2020 that has projected revenue of $47,725,477 with $27 million coming from the ad valorem tax and $18, 253,627 from MAEP. Expenses are expected to be around $44,597,846. The construction budget for capital projects is a separate budget.

Wally said the figures were an early estimate since the district will not know the exact figures from the ad valorem tax until later this year and asked the board to hold off approving the budget until July once those numbers are known.

The board will hold another budget hearing in April. A public hearing will be held before the final budget is approved.

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