Recess: Decision on repairing school roofs delayed

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Cheerleaders from Cannon County High School stand behind ceiling tiles from Woodland Elementary School which show damage caused by leaking roofs outside the Cannon County Courthouse Tuesday, prior to a meeting of the Cannon County Board of Commissioners t

The Cannon County Board of Commissioners delayed making a decision on repairing roofs at three of the county's schools during a special called meeting Tuesday night.

After discussing the issue for nearly two hours, the board voted in favor of a motion by Commissioner Corey Davenport to recess the special called meeting until after the board's regular monthly meeting Thursday night.

Davenport's motion came after fellow commissioners Randy Gannon, who is also a former chairman of the Cannon County Board of Education, and Greg Mitchell said they needed more time to study the information and proposals presented to them before making a decision.

County Executive Brent Bush presented four options to the commissioners on how to pay for the repairs. Davenport also presented a proposal, which read:

"The $10.00 portion of the Wheel Tax generates approximately $134,000 per year. The current balance in that (county budget) line item is $68,648.81. That puts it on track to bring in $137,000.00 in fiscal 2019.

The Board of Education is requesting $2.8 million dollars to fix three roofs and add insulation with a 25-year warranty. Those schools would include Woodbury Grammar, Woodland Elementary and Cannon County High School. The $2.8 estimate is a figure provided by the engineering company that could potentially be lower once bids have been completed.

Cannon County owes the Education Debt Service Fund $700,000.00 per the State of Tennessee Comptroller's Office to be paid back over the next seven years.

I propose that we take out a revenue bond of $2.8 million dollars to pay for the school roofs.

Over the next seven years the county will pay back the $700,000 owed to the Education Debt Service Fund and apply $100,000 per year toward that $2.8 million-dollar bond. That would allow the $10.00 Wheel Tax monies to be used to pay for the remaining $2.1 million dollars owed on the bond for the roofs.

$2.1 million dollars divided by $135,000 would require a 15.5 year revenue bond.

However, the money collected in fiscal 2019 would not be allocated toward debt. Therefore, when the fist payment was due on the bond in 2020, there would be approximately $270,000 in that line item.

This proposal WOULD NOT require any additional tax increase on the citizens of Cannon County.

This proposal WOULD NOT affect the debt that was incurred in 1999 nor would it require any additional years past the original agreed upon time limit to pay off that debt.

This proposal WOULD still allow county government to utilize the $40 portion of the Education Debt Service Fund and borrow against it as needed for Trans Notes."

County Executive Bush's proposal for funding the repairs include borrowing:

• $3 million for 10 years at a 3.99 percent fixed rate.

• $3 million for 12 years at a 4:08 percent fixed rate.

• $3 million for 10 years at a 3:06 percent variable rate.

• $3 million for 12 years at a $3.06 percent variable rate.

While Commissioner Davenport's proposal assume there would not need to be an increase in the property tax to fund the project, Commissioner Jim Bush stated his belief a 10 cent increase would be required.

All of the proposals assume that $40 of the current $50 wheel tax will expire sometime between 2025 and 2027, when the county will have paid the loan to build Woodbury Grammar School.

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