Jacksonville City Countil OKs $170k annual payment for construction of a new school
by Laura Gaddy
lbgaddy@annistonstar.com
Dec 10, 2013 | 3789 views |  0 comments | 105 105 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville City Council on Monday agreed to commit $170,000 a year for the next 30 years to help pay to replace Kitty Stone Elementary School.

The city in May agreed to annual payments of $230,000 from an earlier bond deal for the building project. And with Monday’s agreement, that means the city will give its schools about 3.5 percent of its $12 million budget — about $400,000 each year — for the construction of the new school.

Also on Monday, the school board authorized Superintendent Jon Paul Campbell to enter into a contract with McKee and Associates to perform the architectural work for the new school.

Officials estimate the total cost of the project will be about $11 million. The city’s payments for the new school will come from revenue collected for a one-cent sales tax approved last year.

Campbell said the council’s new commitment ensures the school system will secure the best deal possible when an investment company enters the bond market on its behalf.

“I think it will be great,” Mayor Johnny Smith said. “Spending money for the schools is always a real plus.”

Aside from the payments for the new elementary school, the city also gives the school district about $314,792 each year.

Campbell on Monday told Board of Education members that the school system last week received an A+ credit rating. The announcement surprised many school officials, who expected an A credit rating.

Campbell said it won’t be clear how much money the rating will save until investors sell bonds, a move that is expected to happen before the new year.

Campbell declined to provide a copy of the pending contract with the architectural firm, but said it would be made public once negotiations are finalized.

In keeping with common practice, the firm will be paid a percentage of the overall cost of the project. In addition to establishing the financial terms of the agreement, the contract will also outline a payment schedule for the architectural work, Campbell said.

School officials will host a public meeting to discuss the school construction project Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. at Jacksonville High School.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

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