published Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Coppinger recommends using commercial paper debt to pay for David Brainerd school


by Dan Whisenhunt

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger this morning recommended the commission issue short-term commercial paper debt to buy the David Brainerd School property.

There’s also the possibility the county may consider that route to pay for other school purchases as well.

The school board has made a $3.4 million offer to buy the property to alleviate overcrowding.

Some elected officials have discussed money from payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements to fund the purchase, and Commissioner Joe Graham said he’d still like to explore that idea. The school board will discuss the purchase at its meeting Thursday night, according to Gary Waters, school superintendent of auxiliary services.

“I just wanted to make the commission aware of how that process is playing out,” Coppinger told commissioners. “We’re prepared that we purchase property out of the commercial paper program we have.”

Waters also noted that the school board is considering buying two other school sites to build replacements for Ooltewah Elementary and Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School.

Commissioner Greg Beck also noted that Howard High School needs several improvements. He said he wants to make sure their needs are considered.

Commissioners indicated they are willing to consider using commercial paper to pay for the David Brainerd purchase.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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