Hearing on new debt set for Jan. 20

Published 6:18 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors has scheduled a Jan. 20 public hearing on whether to borrow an additional $19.5 million for the Hardy Elementary School project and other capital needs.

According to the public hearing notice published in the Jan. 5 edition of The Smithfield Times, the money will fund fire and rescue, parks and recreation, public school and public works projects, as well as additional facility space. The hearing will be held during the Board’s regular scheduled meeting, which will convene in open session at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the county’s government complex at Monument Circle.

The Board had borrowed roughly $34 million in 2020, intending to put $27 million toward building a replacement Hardy Elementary School and the rest toward other capital needs. But the guaranteed maximum price the Board ultimately approved for the Hardy project last September was $36.8 million, resulting in a nearly $10 million gap in available funds.

To cover the shortfall, County Administrator Randy Keaton had proposed Isle of Wight borrow additional money for Hardy in 2022 instead of the planned $30 million-plus bond intended to finance the replacement of another 1960s-era school, Westside Elementary.