Prentiss County turns down $3M in school bonds

BOONEVILLE – The Prentiss County School District has said “no thanks” to $3 million in qualified school construction bonds allocated to the district by the state.
The district had applied for $16 million in the interest-free construction bonds with the intention of using the money to build a new high school. But that was before a limit was set on the amount of each district’s award, said Superintendent Matt Smith.
A maximum of $3 million was awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to school districts that applied.
The funding was much less than what would be required for the project and the board members decided they didn’t want to go further in debt, Smith said.
Smith received written notice of the award last week, and replied in writing that the district would not accept the offer, which frees the funds to go back into the state pool for use by other school districts.
Mississippi had $132 million to distribute, and the application deadline is Aug. 28. More than a dozen other Northeast Mississippi school districts had applied for the funds, which are federally subsidized Qualified School Construction Bonds with a 14-16-year payback time frame.
Proposed projects throughout the state must meet certain guidelines to receive $3 million.
- All of the money must be used for new school construction or school renovation within three years. Some of the money can be used to acquire land on which to build a public school, or to buy equipment to be used in a public school.
- The district must comply with all laws and regulations of the bond issuance and must make reports to the Mississippi Department of Education.
- The district is responsible for repaying the principal over time based on the bond sale date.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal