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County officials assist in speeding up MPS projects

Commissioners discuss myriad items, including incurring indebtedness through the Canadian County Educational Facilities Authority as part of the Mustang Public School District projects from the bond issue voters passed on Feb. 14. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

A contingent of Mustang Public School District officials made up part of what amounted to a
crowded Canadian County courthouse as the county commissioners made a key decision for the district on Monday morning.

Commissioners David Anderson, Tomas Manske and Tracey Rider authorized the incurring of indebtedness by the Trustees of the Canadian County Educational Facilities Authority for a total not to exceed $160M at the meeting.

The goal of the action is to help provide funds to complete the “acquisition, construction,
equipping, renovating, and remodeling of school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment, and acquiring and improving school sites related to Independent School District No. 69 Canadian County, Oklahoma (Mustang Public Schools).”

“Basically, what really is happening is the Educational Facilities Authority is constructing these improvements on behalf of the school all at once as opposed to in pieces,” Anderson said. “A school district can only be indebted up to 10% of its net valuation at one time. So, $160M exceeds one-tenth of the net valuation.”

Without the help of the Commissioners and the Canadian County Educational Facilities
Authority, the school district would have to segment out the money in pieces. That can create
issues for the district.

Anderson said the action taken Monday is a legal way for the trust authority to help school
districts construct projects as a whole and not in phases.

“That is a cost savings measure because they get to do it upfront,” Anderson said. “One project can be built cheaper than three pieces of a project.”

Anderson said the complex legal arrangement has been something the county has done for
over 10 years. He said Mustang has been the main school district involved in the process in the past, but he reiterated that every school district in the county has used the educational facility authority.

The money will go toward the project’s voters passed as part of the bond issue from Feb. 14. In terms of impact, the action will allow the school district to increase their credit limit to help speed up the process of these projects.

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