WINTERVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Pitt Community College is expanding their facilities, but it’s likely to save taxpayers money.
In 2013, Pitt County tax payers voted in favor of a nearly 20 million dollar bond referendum to go toward improvements for Pitt Community College.
Now, there’s 2.6 million dollars in excess funds left over, and county commissioners voted 6-3 to use the money to build a permanent structure for the Early College High School.
The 2.6 million dollars in excess funds was generated from a combination of two factors.
“Because of favorable interest rates, and the amount of yield that we were able to generate from the bonds, that combination of the lower construction cost and the favorable condition of the market is what generated the 2.6 in excess proceeds,” said Duane Holder, Chief Financial Officer for Pitt County.
This leads to a lower tax increase, decreasing it from 1.85 cents to 1.41 cents.
Although building a new structure won’t cost taxpayers additional money, some county commissioners felt the excess funds shouldn’t have gone to building a new Early College High School facility.
“It should be used in my opinion to pay down that debt,” said Pitt County Commissioner Glen Webb. “It should go down back against that principle that we had and go ahead and cut a few years off for that loan that we’ve taken out on the tax payers.”
Commissioner Glen Webb argues that because the money was not originally allocated for the additional building, it shouldn’t be used to construct the permanent structure.
Holder says although taxpayers didn’t vote specifically for the additional building, it’s legal the money be used for the construction.
“Ballot language that the voters voted for spoke to various community college facilities,” said Holder. “And so in this case, from a legal standpoint, any facilities on that campus would be legally allowed for these proceeds to be used for.”
Pitt Community College hopes to break ground on the new building later this year, and move students in by fall of 2017.