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Baptist Trust Fund Struggled This Year for Oxford and Lafayette County

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

The trust funds from the sale of the former Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi hospital on South Lamar in 2012 for both the city of Oxford and Lafayette County took a hit this fiscal year, which was no surprise to most of the city and county leaders.

However, the losses weren’t too astronomical.

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

Both the city and county received $30M in 2012. The city put all $30M into a trust fund. The county chose to pay off its debt at $10M and put the remaining $20M into a trust fund.

As of March 31, the city of Oxford’s total trust equity was $39,211,038, down about $400,000 from March 31, 2021, when it was $39,630,997. The fund is still more than $9M above the original investment.

The city can choose each year to take 3 percent of funds to use in its general account. For the 2022/2023 city fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, the city will receive $1,058,995 to use toward various projects and equipment purchases that will be included in the 2022/2023 budget. The city is currently working on next year’s budget which will be approved in September.

Since its inception, the city has received almost $8M in payouts from the interest of the fund.

However, Lafayette County Supervisors have a tough decision to make this year.

The fund’s value on March 31 was $21,631,949, down slightly from 2021’s value of $21,643,595.

While the fund’s balance was more than $21.6M as of March 31, due to world events, the value of the fund as of this week was about $19.8M. Since the county decides whether it will take the 3 percent payout based on the year-end numbers, they could take the $640K payout based on the fund was worth $21M on March 31.

Last year, the county received a $581K payout.

But since the value as of Monday was $19M, below the original $20M payout, the supervisors expressed hesitation in taking a payout during the Board’s meeting on Monday.

The payout would lessen the principal even more by $640K.

“I don’t know if we’ll rebound that quickly to get above $20M,” said Supervisor Brent Larson.

The supervisors agreed to table the discussion about whether to take the payout until their meeting in July to see if the markets start to rebound.

The county has traditionally used its annual payout to pave and repair county roads in each supervisor’s district.

The main goal for the city and county is to protect the principal of their investments.

The county received a $581K payout last year.


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