The millage rate for Webster Parish School Board debt services may be on the rise to cover the cost of paying back bond issues for certain ones to cover what they owe.
In a finance committee meeting Monday, Finance Director Crevonne Odom went over building fund budget revisions as well as lease fund revisions and debt services and said the millage rates for the District 6 Bond Issue Tax Fund will have to go up to cover an approximate $500,000 deficit. The total revenue for the fund is $2.8 million with total expenses at $3.3 million.
Doyline, Cotton Valley and Sarepta were all showing deficits, but reserves will cover Cotton Valley and Sarepta; however, Doyline’s millage rates will go up.
Odom did not specify the number of mills to be increased, but said they would have to go up enough to cover the deficits. She said Shongaloo does not have a maintenance tax, and the legislative auditors dictated the money in that fund would have to be spent. Because the school does not have any major construction projects to be done in the very near future, the estimated $380,000 would stay in the fund and could be spent when a project comes up.
Odom also went over the building funds, saying the estimated fund balance in July 2016 was $7 million, which came from the general obligation bonds for the construction at J.A. Phillips Middle School and Webster Jr. High School. The ending balance by June 30 is about $3.9 million.
“You will see that we are anticipating spending about $3.9 million for facilities and use expenditures,” she said. “The revenue that we’re receiving is from the interest. We had a $7 million general obligation bond for the construction at Phillips and Webster, and that’s where the revenue comes from. The revenue is not in there this year, so that’s why we had to dip into reserves. These are the expenses we think we are going to spend this year.”
She added it will cover architect fees for Phillips and Webster and the invoices anticipated for both schools this year.
In going over the other building maintenance funds, Odom said these funds are dependent upon local taxes.
“In doing these budgets, it’s kind of hard to gauge, because it depends on activities they’re going to do at their school in their maintenance fund for that particular year,” she said. “They might anticipate some things that might happen and do some things that year that doesn’t cost as much, or something happens unexpectedly and they have to come before the board to take care of something.”
In the Consolidated 3 Maintenance Fund, the total expenditures were $485,000, but this does not include the construction of the sixth grade wing at Lakeside Jr./Sr. High School, she said. Total revenue for the fund was $1.1 million.