Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Despite the Pandemic, Oxford, Lafayette Will Each Receive Payout from Baptist Fund

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Oxford and Lafayette County’s Baptist Trust Funds took a hard hit during the first couple of months of the pandemic.

However, the investment for each bounced back quickly to end the fiscal year with enough gains to allow both governments to receive a payout.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen and the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors both approved the year-end accounting report of each governments’ Baptist investment funds, prepared by Watkins, Ward and Stafford accounting firm.

The fiscal year for both funds runs from April 1 to March 31.

When Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi wanted to build a new hospital, they sold the old hospital back to the city and county in 2012, granting each $30 million. Lafayette County used $10 million to pay off debt and put the remaining $20 million in a trust fund. Oxford leaders invested all $30 million.

Each year, after fees are paid, the city and county take 3 percent of the interest earned, if the fund is valued above the original investment.

Oxford’s fund was worth 39,630,997 at the end of March 31, up from $33,819,351 in March 2020. The city’s payout will be $1,188,930, after accounting expenses.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill noted during the Tuesday meeting of the Board of Aldermen that it will be the largest payout the city has received since the fund’s inception. On average, the city has received about $875,00 each year.

Since its inception, the city has received $6,812,000 in payouts. Those funds are used for a variety of capital projects in the city.

Lafayette County’s investment also saw an increase. As of March 31, the fund was worth $21,643,595, up from $19,629,220 in March 2020.

The county will receive $563,416, after accounting expenses, to use in its general fund this year, which is the average payout the county has received annually since inception. The supervisors did not take a payout in 2020 since the fund’s value dipped under the $20 million original investment before rebounding during 2021.

In previous years, the county has elected to use its payout funds on paving roads.

The city’s investment is managed by Glenemede and the county’s fund is managed by Green Square Capital Advisors.

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