Saturday, May 28, 2022

Lafayette’s $20M Investment Ended on a High Note in 2021

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

Lafayette County’s $20 million investment from the sale of the former Baptist hospital did well in 2021, ending with a 6.2 percent return, according to a report presented to the Board Tuesday.

The fund was valued at $21,540,021 at the start of 2021. As of Dec. 31, the fund was worth $22,281,235.

Early in 2021, the Board granted Green Square, the firm that manages the investment, the ability to increase the amount of the fund that was invested in stocks. At the start of 2021, about 19 percent of the fund was in stocks. By the end of the year that was increased to 40 percent, with 60 percent allocated to bonds.

The fund was established in 2012 when Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi wanted to build a new hospital. Baptist sold the old hospital back to the city of Oxford and Lafayette County, 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.

The county received $563,416 from the 2020-2021 fiscal year, after accounting expenses. Those funds are generally used to help pave and repair county roads.

The fiscal year for the investment runs from April 1 – March 31. The report presented to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday was for the regular calendar year. After the fiscal year ends on March 31, the Board will know if and how much they can take from the dividends for the fiscal year 2022-23 budget.