CPSB accepts Sasol's bid of $9.5M for Mossville facility

Sasol buys CPSB land for $9.5 mil
Published: Jun. 5, 2013 at 2:35 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2013 at 2:35 AM CDT
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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It's a temporary fix to prevent teacher cuts. By selling a piece of property, the Calcasieu Parish School Board balanced their budget and saved teacher jobs.

The CPSB is now looking at how this will impact the future of the school system's budget. It will save jobs for now, but what about in the years to come?

Close to 158 teacher positions were saved all because the CPSB decided to use the money from the sale of the old Mossville Elementary School facility to help balance the system's budget.

The facility currently houses the school board's Department of Special Services, and Sasol North America Inc. bought the property for $9.5 million.

"It has all gone very smoothly," said Annette Ballard, CPSB Vice President and Chair of the Budget Committee. "At this point, the staff is making all of the preparations to move everyone out and get them into some other places."

Ballard said there are still some concerns with the decision to use the sale money toward the budget.

"Not knowing always what will happen with federal monies, with state monies and because we're dealing with taxpayer money," she said.

Especially since this is just a temporary fix. This one-time money helps balance the budget for the next fiscal year, but the school board will see itself in a similar situation the following year. This just helps the school board buy some time.

It's buying time by selling some property the board owns to help fix the $13 million deficit the CPSB is facing for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

"I think that we did make a good decision, but actually we have some real big decisions that are coming up now because this does not handle all of the budget problems. It does not take care of the next year and the next year," Ballard said.

And now it gives the board time to prepare for the future.

"We need to plan for right now to begin making changes and also a long range plan and then we need to assess those needs every single year, and that's where we're headed," she said.

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