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Old Ballard Hudson Lease Could Cost Bibb Schools Before Summer

12:11 AM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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Recent controversies involving the Bibb County school district could end up costing almost $800,000 over the next five months.

At a Tuesday evening budget work session, interim Chief Financial Officer Sharon Roberts told the board they may have to amend the current budget to reflect a lease agreement entered into after board members passed the budget.

Last July, the district agreed to lease half of the old Ballard Hudson building on Anthony Road from local non-profit Central Georgia PICD for $5.75 million over the next 10 years. That breaks down to monthly payments of almost $48,000 a month.

A lawsuit filed by the district's former CFO, Ron Collier, challenges the lease, and a superior court judge is set to hear the suit Friday morning. If the lease holds up, Roberts says at the board will have to allocate $143,748 for lease payments in April, May, and June when the fiscal year ends.

She estimated the district should set aside an extra $650,000, for a total of $1 million, for attorneys fees resulting from Collier's and other lawsuits.

Other potential adjustments to the budget reflect more money in school district coffers. Roberts said, as of Tuesday night, she's expecting $700,000 more in federal money and local sources other than taxes. She's also expecting the fund balance to land at $1,193,308; more than originally projected.

The adjustments could go before the board for approval as early as the scheduled February board meeting. Roberts cautioned the numbers could change before then as more information becomes available.

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