How will we pay for new school?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2006

To the Editor:

I, for one, do not live in Dallas County, but have attended school here and been a part of the community all of my life.

I am appalled at the “plan” our mayor has for a new and un-needed new school.

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In a recent article published in The Selma Times-Journal, the mayor states that, “people are building schools all around us and we should not be left out.”

He also states that the proposed site is due to the “contiguous area in the largest growing area of the city.”

Now, I’m not a genius, but … what growing area?

As last I know, the population of the city decreased from last year to this by approximately 3 percent.

Again, what “growing” population?

Furthermore, the families in the city are leaving the city for areas such as Valley Grande (which the mayor lives in) and Prattville for the simple fact that they may receive a better education there.

The other cities that were stated in which the mayor wishes to keep up with are growing for one reason … more people are entering the areas.

Keeping up with the Jones’s on these grounds is ridiculous.

To cap things off, he’s asking for something that is financially mind boggling. I do not see for one minute how an institution that is, for lack of a better word, broke, plans to pay for a school or schools that would cost the city and its taxpayers tens of millions.

Now, I’m not an accounting guru by any means, but if taxes in Selma were raised to an additional $90 per year for homeowners, with a guestimated 10,000 having homes, that would only be an additional $900,000 a year.

However, being that there are on average 33 percent of the population on federal aid, that’s only $600,000 per year.

So let’s do some simple math; $1 million for land, roughly $24 million for a new school and facilities at the magnitude of a current Selma High, giving us a total of $25 million.

At a rate of only 5 percent for the loan, and looking at a 30 year mortgage, that would be a whopping $134,205.41 per month in payments, totaling … brace yourself … $1,610,464.92 per year and $48,313,947.60 overall.

That’s over $1 million more than the tax hike would bring in.

Needless to say, needing it is the least of our worries. The main question is how in the world do we plan to pay for this?

Stan Ingram