January 15, 2019 11:00:55 AM
Columbus Municipal School District plans to use more than $125,000 from a Sanderson Plumbing bankruptcy case for the district's capital improvement plan and maintenance plan.
The board of trustees discussed Monday night an update on the funds that would funnel into the school district. School board attorney David Dunn said CMSD should receive 45.5 percent of a $275,000 award that will be split among the city, county and CMSD by March 31.
In 2013, the Columbus toilet seat manufacturer Sanderson Plumbing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A year before filing, the company was purchased by Beneke Inc. with a loan through the Mississippi Development Authority. Lowndes County Tax Assessor Greg Andrews filed a claim in 2014 to collect $258,000 in delinquent taxes from the company.
Ultimately, the bankruptcy court awarded $275,000. In addition to CMSD's share, Columbus will receive roughly $77,000 and Lowndes County will get about $71,000.
Dunn told the board, since a government entity (MDA) was tied to the company, the court could not mandate back taxes paid on land but could order it paid on personal property.
Columbus attorney Gawyn Mitchell was hired to represent the city, county and CMSD in collecting the back taxes.
During an agenda review meeting last week, the CMSD board discussed more than $2 million in needed capital improvements throughout the district. Board President Jason Spears said the Sanderson money would provide a good start toward addressing those projects.
"It's always a good thing to get $100,000," Spears said. "It's taken some time; here we are six years later this coming to a conclusion. Those dollars have been hanging out there that we can really use for projects. It would go into the district maintenance fund, to help obviously some of these projects like the capital improvement plan."
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