LIVINGSTON — The Livingston Parish School System may expect to gain increased tax revenue because the Bass Pro Shop complex is reaching its peak of development, Denham Springs Mayor James Durbin told School Board members.
Durbin, in addressing the board’s meeting Thursday, said that bonds supported by a number of political bodies, including the school system, should be retired in about half the time originally established.
Durbin said that $50 million in bonds sold for revenue to fund the Bass Pro Shop Economic Development District’s plans were supposed to be paid off in 30 years.
However, Durbin said, a more favorable bond market, and the success of Bass Pro Shops and other businesses that have located in the district, indicate the bonds would be paid off in about 15 years.
A number of the parish’s public bodies agreed to forgo potential income from sales taxes in the district to finance the bonds used to develop the Bass Pro Shop complex. The first bonds were sold in 2007, Durbin said.
The mayor said by about 2021, the School Board “should realize millions of additional dollars” from sales taxes generated by the commercial venture.”
Durbin called the Bass Pro Shop development a great success story for Livingston Parish, with 16 businesses now located in the economic development district. He said a Sam’s Club is under construction and should open for business in the spring of 2012.
Other matters coming before the board included:
BOND SALE: Board members agreed to sell $10 million more in general obligation bonds, Series 2011, School District No. 22, to build a new Live Oak High School. The bonds will be advertised for sale and bids will be opened on Oct. 6.
POLICY CHANGES: The board agreed to consider two proposed measures affecting students.
One of them says 17-year-olds who successfully complete a state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education program and obtain a Louisiana GED will be considered “exited” from high school and no longer subject to compulsory attendance laws.
The other proposal says every child entering kindergarten for the first time would be given a “valid and reliable” readiness assessment at the beginning of the school year.
Results would be used for measuring student readiness for kindergarten and planning instruction.