NASD forges ahead with resolutions to borrow for new school

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017


NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School Board took two steps Tuesday night toward borrowing $34 million for the construction of a new high school and renovating existing structures.

Board members adopted two resolutions pertaining to the raising of funds for the district’s construction projects.

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The first resolution authorized a lease transaction that would allow the district to raise $25 million dollars to build a new high school and rehabilitate buildings in the district.

The board passed the first resolution unanimously.

The second resolution authorized a note that would also be used to raise funds for $9 million in improvements for the district.

“That’s the (resolution) that will increase taxes?” board member Renee Wall asked after the presentation of the resolutions.

Attorneys hired to represent the board confirmed the second resolution would increase taxes.

The $9 million tax note would likely be paid for through a 3-mill increase in taxes, Board Attorney Bruce Kuehnle Jr. said after the meeting. The district is authorized to levy up to 3 mills to pay off the note at 4-percent interest for 20 years.

The second resolution passed 4-1 in a roll call vote, with Wall casting the only opposing vote.

Wall said she voted for the first resolution because she supported the building of a new school, but not the tax increase. Wall said she would have preferred for the district to pursue other funding options.

The school board failed to garner enough votes at a special school bond election in May to borrow $35 million for the district-wide renovation and construction project.

Board member Phillip West said these steps were necessary to improve the district.

“It’s just financial requirements that we have to go through,” West said.

No copy of the resolution was made available at Tuesday’s meeting.