By STEVEN NALLEY
The Oktibbeha County School District Board will hold a public hearing for its 2012-2013 budget at 5 p.m. Monday at the district’s main office, followed by a regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the same location, during which the board is slated to discuss lease proposals for the Oktibbeha County Lake.
The district has placed an advertisement saying the proposed 2012-2013 budget has a total projected revenue of $11,223,915.96, with 30.89 percent or $3,467,985 proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy. This is an increase from last year’s $11,221,077, 29.53 percent or $3,313,969 of which came from ad valorem taxes, but OCSD Superintendent James Covington said little has changed for this year’s budget.
“The budget’s going to pretty much look the same as it looked last year,” Covington said. “The value of a mill is a little bit more this year than it was last year.”
The deadline for proposals for the Oktibbeha County Lake passed on July 31; the deadline was moved from the original May 7 date at the board’s June meeting. Covington said he is uncertain what will result from the lake discussion Monday.
“We just have to see where it goes,” Covington said. “The board will review any and all proposals, and we’ll go from there. I think it would be in the best interests for the lake to be open to the public.”
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks formerly held a lease on 407 acres of lake and campground facilities, but the department did not renew its lease after a reappraisal of the land’s value in April. The MDWFP’s 25-year lease stipulated a $2,500 minimum annual payment, but the reappraisal set the land’s value at $100 per acre, requiring substantially higher payment.