Today is Monday, September 15, 2014

Squire explains decision about school bond money

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At last week’s Wilson County Commission meeting, a resolution to spend $154,000 to raise the bleachers at Lebanon High School’s football field was pulled from consideration, while approving $38,950 to do repairs to the field.

Some confusion appears to have occurred as to what funds are paying for what, according to some emails from readers received by The Wilson Post.

Budget Committee Chair Mike Justice explained that the money for the LHS field repairs came from $85,000 in Build America Bonds that were left from the construction of the new high school in Lebanon.

“However, the resolution to raise Lebanon High’s bleachers wanted to take $69,000 from the discretionary funds for the new Watertown High School,” Justice said.

“In my opinion, until the new Watertown High School is finished and the students have moved in, and we know everything is running smoothly, that money should not be touched.”

Justice said when the county commission voted to fund the building of the new Watertown High School, they also voted that the money was all to go to that school – unless it were to come back before the commission for a vote.

“However, why would you spend the money before you know you’re out of the woods with the original construction?” the District 15 commissioner asked. “When the school is absolutely done, and we’re totally past the construction phase, then we can look at the money.”

Justice said bond money for the new Watertown High could be used at other high schools, provided the commission approves such expenditures, because of the way the bonds are written.

“When they write the bond, they write them loose, and I understand their thought process. They want you to be able to use the money somewhere else. But the commission voted to use it just at Watertown,” he explained.

“As far as I’m concerned, nothing will happen with it until they are in school, and we know there are no problems.”

Amelia Morrison Hipps is a correspondent for The Wilson Post. She may be reached at amhipps@downhomepolitics.com.

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bleachers, Build America Bonds, football field, Lebanon High School, Watertown High School
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