School board submits bonds for refinancing

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Lamar County School District’s Board of Trustees signed the paperwork to submit school bonds for refinancing ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline, saving the district $902,000 over the length of the bonds.

James W. Young Jr. of Young Law Group in Jackson brought the papers to be signed by board officials during Monday night’s meeting at the Oak Grove Upper Elementary School library.

Young told the School Board that the sale of the bonds was expected to be closed on Dec. 20.

At a Dec. 4 special called meeting, the School Board targeted the bonds for buildings and buses to help improve the bond rating. Superintendent Tess Smith said the bonds were rated A-plus, improving the refinancing rate.

Passage of the hotly-debated federal tax bills in Congress could hinder future bond refinancing as the bills are written now. Attorney Warren Greenlee of Young Law Group explained the situation to the School Board during its meeting on Nov. 13 at the Purvis Upper Elementary School’s Multi-Purpose Building.

Greenlee said passage of the federal tax bills will deny the school district the opportunity to re-fund current notes and pay off the interest and capital of the bonds with the money saved with the lower interest rates on the bonds and the higher investment return on funds held in an escrow account.

“The 2013 notes were issued several years ago,” he said. “The notes were not prepaid for until 2023, but federal tax laws allow you to refinance notes well in advance of the call date, or the prepayment date. The way that works is that you issue new notes – the re-funding notes – put the proceeds in an escrow account, that money is invested in the escrow account and the escrow funds pay the interest and the principal of the re-funded bonds – the bonds that we are paying off – on the call date, or the re-funding date.

“Because the interest rates are low enough on the re-funding bonds and because the investment return is good enough on the escrow account, you actually can still realize savings by issuing the bonds this far in advance.”

The savings realized in similar school districts have gone toward other projects, such as construction of new facilities, paying off bonds on large items or adding such long-term investments as athletic field lighting.

In other action, the School Board:

• Approved General Agenda.

• Heard presentation from Belinda Fields of Smith, Shellnut, Wilson, LLC on district’s bond income.

• Approved Nov. 13 and Dec. 4 Minutes.

• Approved Monthly Financial Report for October.

• Approved Changes to Policies BCAC - Special Meetings of the Board, BCAD - Teleconference or Video Board Meeting and IHE - Promotion and Retention.

•                Approved New Hunting Lease on 183 acres of 16th Section Land.

•                Approved new offer to present to Mississippi Materials Company on 16th Section Land lease.

•                Set Next Meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at the Lamar County School District Boardroom beginning at 6 p.m.

 

 

The board made the following actions for these schools:

Baxterville School

•                Heather Ford as Part-time Title I Tutor retroactive to Nov. 27.

Longleaf Elementary School

•                Resign - Clifford Miller as Maintenance Worker effective Nov. 30.

•                Beverly Blackmon as Part-time Gifted Teacher replacing Jane Bosarge effective Jan. 8, 2018.

•                56 ASUS Chromebooks & two charging carts at a cost of $13,516 from Howard Technology Solutions to be paid from PTO donation. Alternate quote CDW-G $14,467.54.

•                $13,516 cash donation from PTO to be used to purchase 56 Chromebooks and two charging carts.

Oak Grove High School

•                Resign - Tesha Bolton as Bus Driver effective Dec. 8.

•                Transfer - Susan Moree as Cafeteria Employee at Oak Grove Elementary to Cafeteria Employee replacing Melissa Hall retroactive to Nov. 13.

•                Bobby Housley as Full-time Bus Driver replacing Fallon Hartfield retroactive to Dec. 4.

•                $300 cash donation from Sharon Brinson/Jani King. To be used for Boys basketball supplies/equipment.

•                Used office furniture valued at $3,500 from William Carey University. To be used as needed.

•                Received permission to destroy old attendance records from 2011-12.

Oak Grove Middle School

•                Transfer - Cheryl Twiner as Sped Teacher to Sped Teacher retroactive to Dec. 11.

•                Resign - Adrienne Evans as Administrative Assistant effective Dec. 22.

•                Canon ImageRunner Advance 4525i copier at a cost of $113.87 per month and 1 center per copy maintenance fee for 48 months from Owens Business Machines (state contract No. 8200031426). To be paid from school budget.

•                $500 cash donation from Kohler Engines. To be used to purchase EV3 Robot for FLL Robotics and any excess to be used as needed by FLL.

•                $14,434 cash donation from PTO. To be used to purchase Chromebooks with licenses and Chromebook charging carts.

•                $3,437.20 cash donation from Oak Grov Band Boosters. To be used for Band supplies, competition expenses, etc.

 

Oak Grove Primary School

•                Resign - Marcus Esters as Maintenance/Custodian effective Nov. 17.

•                Sandra Bonner as Preschool Assistant Teacher replacing Letha Lowe retroactive to Nov. 27.

•                Received permission to destroy old records prior to 2012-13 school year.

Purvis High School

•                30 ASUS Chromebooks with licenses and cart at a cost of $7,217 from Howard Technology. To be paid from Textbook funds. Alternate quote CDW-G $7,715.09.

•                Handicap Handrails at a cost of $7,780 from Precision Fab & Refurbishing. To be paid from District funds. Alternate quote Jones Brothers Welding Service $9,800.

•                48 student desks & 25 3-by-4 white boards valued at $2,065 from William Carey University. To be used in classrooms.

•                $1,000 cash donation from Class of 2018. To be used to purchase books for the library.

Purvis Middle School

•                Phyllis Debrow as Assistant Basketball Coach replacing Jacob Aycock retroactive to Nov. 10.

Sumrall Elementary School

•                Melissa Smith as Part-time Title 1 Tutor replacing Karen Loftin retroactive to Nov. 27.

•                Amanda Holden as Full-time Bus Driver replacing Debra Berry retroactive to Dec. 1.

Sumrall High School

•                Baseball uniforms and supplies at a cost of $13,845.53 from Rex Team Sports. To be paid from school activity funds. Alternate quote Boudreaux Athletics $16,397.

•                $500 cash donation from Lamar County Board of Supervisors. To be used for Veterans Breakfast.

•                $2,500 cash donation from Lamar County Board of Supervisors. To be used for choir and accapella.

•                Student desks, filing cabinets & white boards valued at $2,500 from William Carey University. To be used as needed.

Lamar County School District

•                Resign - Rodger Kyle Jackson as School Police Officer effective Nov. 29.

•                Transfer - Teresa Hanberry as Substitute Bus Driver to Full-time Bus Driver at Purvis (new position) retroactive to Nov. 15.

•                Heather Darby as Substitute School Nurse retroactive to Oct. 16.

•                Michael Butler as Computer Technician for district replacing Donna Norris effective Dec. 12.

•                Approved Special Non-Renewable License Application for Kelly Williams.

•                Approved Special Non-Renewable License Application for Jonathan Bolling.

•                Approved 17-18 Salary Scale Changes.

•                For Child Nutrition, Web Based P.O.S. System at a cost of $16,510 from Heartland. To be paid from Child Nutrition funds. Alternate quote Lunch Time $27,290.

•                Approved Accounts Payable Claims, Receipts and Disbursements.

•                Child Nutrition received permission to refund lunch account balance to the parents of students as follows: No. 001379583 $12.25, No. 001265892 $6.50, No. 000658326 $8.80, No. 001345264 $88.95, No. 001246256 $100.25, No. 001157705 $471.25. 

•                Approved MOU between LCSD Early Learning Collaborative and Richard and Diane Scruggs.

•                Introduction of Change to Policy EDD - Student Transportation Management Scheduling and Routing.

•                Introduction of Change to Policy CNA - Access to Public Records.

•                Approved Contract for Services between Millennium Educational Services and LCSD for Professional Development in Math.

•                Approved Statement of Assurances for Federal Programs.

•                Approved Contract for Services between Millennium Educational Services and LCSD for Professional Development in ELL.

•                Went into executive session to discuss four personal matters and five cases involving possible litigation.