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School Requests Help For Building Project

By David Howell
Editor

COFFEEVILLE – A $1.2 million building project  that will soon get underway by the Coffeeville School District will replace the school’s gym and administration building.

    Coffeeville School Superintendent Eddie Anderson updated supervisors at the “first Monday” meeting held June 6 in Coffeeville, before requesting gravel and fill dirt from the county.

    “Some of you that are present here played in that same gym that we have now,” Anderson explained. “We saw an opportunity and we are trying to do something to make our school district a little better and help our children feel a lot better about where they are going,” Harris continued.

    The school’s gym was acquired from Camp McCain and moved to the school in 1947 and the current administrative office was constructed in 1938, according to an article published in The Coffeeville Courier.

    “We have people who pull up to the central office and ask us where is the central office,” Anderson told supervisors.

    District One Supervisor Tommy Vaughn told Harris the county should not have any problem hauling the dirt and gravel.

    “I know the need. Without having to spend any money, we will help you any way we can,” Vaughn said.

    Anderson also fielded questions from county officials including District 5 Supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman about the project.

    “You say you would not be asking for any money, have you already got money set aside for this project?” Tillman asked.

    “Right now we have $1.2 million sitting in the bank, yes sir,” Anderson answered.

    “Okay, I don’t want to get in to a lot, but I have been cornered this morning before I got here. The ad came out that said you are going to increase the millage rate for the school,” Tillman said, referring to the public notice published in the Courier notifying taxpayers in the district of a millage increase.

    “We are not asking for any millage increase for the building,” Anderson said.

    “Okay, that will take care of that,” Tillman responded.

    Other business conducted in the meeting included:

     • Accepted the low bid from Renasant Bank to provide financing for a 5 year period for $20,853.56  to purchase a new pickup for District 2.

    Renasant Bank bid 2.7 percent plus a $200 processing fee, which was lower than Mechanic Bank’s five percent bid and Hancock Bank’s 3.24 percent.

    • Recommended contacting the inactive Yalobusha County Economic Develop-ment Foundation to secure matching grant money needed for an expansion for one of the county’s industries.

    The recommendation came following an economic update provided by Yalobusha County Eco-nomic Development District (EDD) Director  Bob Tyler.

    Tyler told county officials that $7,000 was needed for a matching grant for the expansion, with half coming from the City of Water Valley and half coming from Yalobusha County.

    “Neither entity can give that money to a private operation,” Tyler said, referring to the $7,000 match. Tyler explained that the money will be used to secure a $200,000 workforce training grant from the Mississippi Development Authority.

    “I will mention that $60,000 or so that the economic development (EDF) still has that really should go back to the Chamber. If it goes back to the Chamber, then they can do whatever they want to do with it. In my opinion that is the way it should be done, we need to be out of it,” said District Three Supervisor M.H. “Butch” Surrette.

    Another option discussed for providing the matching money would be transferring the funds from the county’s Economic Devel-opment District (EDD), but Crow said he would have to research to make sure the transfer is proper.

    “We have already got the foundation (EDF) over here that has got the ability to transfer the money. They have the money,” Vaughn advised, recommending that this should be the first option pursued by the county for the matching money.

    “They want to get rid of it anyway. I think the biggest portion of them do,” Surrette said, referring to the EDF board members.

    Crow advised supervisors that there has been discussion with EDF board members to resolve the money in the account, but “Nobody seems to want to write a check,” Crow said.

    “We ought to give them (EDF) an opportunity to write the check,” Vaughn said.

    “We should be looking at this as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block,” Surrette agreed.

    “If they (EDF) are not willing to write a check, we will take another route to fund the money,” Vaughn said, referring again to the $7,000 needed to secure the workforce training grant for the industry expansion.

    Board members agreed to have Tyler contact the EDF about the funds. They also agreed to have Crow research to see if the EDD could legally disperse the the money if the EDF doesn’t come through.

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