Hamilton County frees up $50 million for school construction projects

Hamilton County frees up $50 million for school construction projects

October 26th, 2011 by Ansley Haman in Local Regional News

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Hamilton County officials announced today that they will make an additional $50 million available for school construction without a tax increase.

The county has spent months reorganizing its financial house to take advantage of record-low interest rates to help fund capital projects, County Mayor Jim Coppinger said this morning.

"What we're trying to do is enhance opportunities for our students," Coppinger said. "We're going to be able to make this funding available without an increase in property taxes or any new taxes."

The money will arm the schools to meet growth projections resulting from new jobs with companies such as Volkswagen and Amazon.

The county's announcement came a day after it received a bid on $86 million in debt that saved the county more than $2 million and 9.3 percent on its previous debt.

Maintaining its AAA bond rating from all three major ratings agencies allowed the county to make the $50 million available, Coppinger said.

Superintendent Rick Smith recently said that the county is at least a year behind in building schools to meet growing populations.

"Everyone has their own opinions about where the new schools should be," he said. "That's a process that should begin now."

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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