Funding comes from many sources

Friday, October 14, 2005

At the urging of Southeast Missouri State University, the Missouri Development Finance Board issued two sets of bonds two years ago: $9.97 million in 20-year bonds for the city's share of the project and $26.36 million in 30-year bonds to cover the university's and state's remaining share of the cost.

After issuance costs and money set aside for debt retirement, the university was left with $31.79 million in bond proceeds to pay construction costs, president Dr. Ken Dobbins said.

In addition, the university already had $4.6 million from the state -- appropriated by lawmakers in fiscal year 2000 -- plus more than $5 million collected by the university foundation.

Southeast also has received more than $7 million in federal funding for equipment and furnishings, including museum displays, Dobbins said.

Coupled with the bonds, that's enough to cover all the project costs, Dobbins said.

Southeast has earmarked $11.1 in private donations for the River Campus project, but some $5.7 million is in pledges. When that money is actually received it will go toward retiring the 30-year bonds.

The city pledged $8.9 million to help fund the River Campus. Its share is being funded by state finance board bonds. The city is making monthly payments to the university -- currently more than $82,000 -- to retire the bonds. University officials expect those bonds to be retired in 10 to 12 years.

John Richbourg, city finance director, estimated that the city could spend more than $10 million in motel and restaurant tax money to retire the revenue bonds.

If the bonds aren't retired early, the city would end up spending $13.65 million on the project, Richbourg said.

-- Mark Bliss

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