The spending philosophy of the C. J. Huff Administration was spelled out by Chief Financial Officer Paul Barr during the May 27 Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting.
From about the 1 hour, 13 minute mark of the accompanying Jet 14 video to the 1 hour, 20 minute mark, Barr explains why the district needs to hire the financial management company, George K. Baum and Associates, to borrow money to get the school district past its current financial crisis.
A total of $5.4 million is needed on a short-term basis, Barr said, as the district awaits payment from FEMA and SEMA.
Another $7 million to $8 million comes from the district's "might as well" approach, Barr said.
When Administration officials saw something they wanted, instead of waiting until they had the money, which Barr said they might get by selling naming rights, they decided they "might as well" go ahead and do it.
Barr gave examples of items Administration officials decided they "might as well" add including the following:
-Lights at multiple athletic fields
-Artificial turf at multiple athletic fields
-Expanded tennis courts from four "before the storm" to eight
-A track at the high school, so the athletes would not have to go to Junge Stadium and practice with middle school students
"This is just a sampling of the items," Barr said.
To handle all of their "might as well" items, the board approved the hiring of the Baum company at a probable cost of approximately $45,000 to finance the approximately $13 million worth of debt that has been incurred.
Not mentioned on this video, but approved as part of an audio-visual package Tuesday night for Franklin Tech was a jumbotron-type (main gym video board) expense for the gymnasium (the well-known Franklin Tech gymnasium) and video walls for the high school commons area.