Friday, January 18, 2013

Quick look at Carter school finances

Just an update on the finances for Carter Elementary. No particular reason. Just something I started putting together when I was working on a story about the sale of the Hillcrest property.

Soooo . . . .

As it stands, the county has collected $9.76 million for the Carter Elementary School project, including some $2.5 million that the school system contributed that officials initially planned to renovate – and not rebuild – the old school.

In addition, the county has another $2 million from the sale of the Solway property; $900,000 from a class action lawsuit settlement between the SEC and JP Morgan; and a $3.4 million payment from E-911 to the county for the building it uses.

The county more than a year ago, had expected another $770,000 from some property sales along Marble Alley in the downtown area, but the buyer has opted to lease the land for at least another year. The sale will still go through, officials said, but not by June when the county needs it to pay for the school's construction.

Overall, that means the county is still on the hook for $4.1 million, not counting whatever is needed for the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E), which is another $ 2million.

 Still, Knox County Mayor Tim Buchett said he's not concerned about meeting the deadline.

“We're in good shape right now and moving along schedule,” he said.

The mayor added that “when I took office I said we were going to get out of the things that you can find in the Yellow Pages,” meaning he didn't want the county competing with private businesses, something that, in part, led to the sale of the Solway property.

“I said that I wanted to put surplus properties out for sale and get them back on the tax rolls and that's what we're doing,” he said.

The mayor also pointed out that the county is currently in discussions with Hillcrest HealthCare Communities to sell the property it currently leases for $1 year to the nursing home operators for $5.3 million.

If approved by the Knox County Commission, the money would go toward paying off Carter and make up any difference, Burchett said.

The board is expected to talk more about the potential land sales later this month.

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