SP Budget

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SP superintendent defends, describes budget increase

By Rupert Howell

Trustees for the South Panola School District approved a proposed budget Friday following a public hearing attended by three concerned citizens  who participated in the process by asking questions and voicing opinions during the noon time meeting.

Trustees moved forward with the proposed $29.5 million budget of which $8.4 million is proposed to be financed through  local ad valorem tax.

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Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer stated that increase in the amount over last year was from new programs in the amount of $56,411 (an amount that can be raised above a 4-7% limitation) and a $596,814 amount that is coming from $11 million in new property put on the tax rolls since last year.

Accountant Mickey Aldridge, who said he was “tickled to death” to know there was $11 million to be added to the tax rolls, said later that people across America were concerned about high government cost.

“If you’re not in at this level, when you get to the next level it’s too late,” he said of public spending.

Woody Loden IV, who owns commercial property throughout the Hwy. 6 and 51 corridor, told trustees, “I’ve got buildings vacant not just for months but for years …  and later stated, “Anything to help keep millage down, I would appreciate it.”

Also present at Friday’s meeting was contractor Lawrence Hoskins.

Shaffer explained that the $2.7 million in the capital projects fund was designated for maintenance such as roofs, a ninth grade building at South Panola High School  and some may be used to complete funding for the top floor of the two-story red brick building. Four-hundred thousand dollars in federal funds has previously been budgeted for that project.

Shaffer noted that $1 million had been used to shore up the current year’s budget after three budget cuts came down from the state. He hinted a possibility that capital projects funds, and  seven percent required fund balance, could be used to cover potential budget cuts.

The trustee board will meet June 30 to finalize the budget.