During Macon County Manager Derek Roland’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget proposal, he noted that an overwhelming majority of the county’s annual debt load is directly attributed to school construction that has been completed over the last decade.
The annual principal and interest payment on outstanding debt will decrease by ($25,630) to $3,629,168 in FY 22’. Of the county’s current outstanding debt amount (principal and interest) of $33,482,390, $32,387,907 or 97 percent is attributable to debt associated with school projects.
Macon County is currently paying off debt associated with construction of Iotla Valley Elementary School, substantial renovations and expansions to South Macon Elementary and Highlands School.
The county’s debt associated with schools construction is only expected to increase as beginning in FY 23’ the principal and interest portion of the Macon Middle School Renovation Project debt will come due increasing the annual principal and interest payment on outstanding debt by $361,618 to $3,990,786.
Under North Carolina General Statute, county governments are required to provide funding for buildings and grounds for public education while the state is responsible for operating expenses such as school personnel. In addition to the debt service payments funded by the county annually, the Macon County Board of Commissioners also provides the school system with $8,732,731for school system operations and teacher supplements as well as an additional $1,150,000 each year for technology and capital outlay needs for the district.