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County trust fund increases

Steve Sansom with Green Square Capital was “pleased to come bearing good news” as he gave an update to the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors regarding the county’s trust fund investment in the stock market.

The county’s investment fund balance stands at $19,929,378 and total distributions of $1,117,283, which gives the fund an economic value of $21,046,661.

“The balances have come up pretty significantly from the last quarterly report,” Sansom told the board. He said there was a dip in February, but the fund bounced back strong in March due mainly to a rally in the equity markets.

“We reduced some of our exposure to equities in lieu of fixed income to take some of the volatility of the portfolio out,” Sansom said.

Sansom said the county’s fund grew by 1 percent in the most recently completed quarter, an increase of nearly $200,000, and since that time has added more than $130,000 for a $332,768 total through mid-April.

“We’re pleased with the returns,” Sansom said.

The board also seemed pleased with the bounce-back in the fund, which is the county’s portion of the hospital sale. The county evenly split just over $60 million in proceeds from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital with the city of Oxford and invested $20 million of its portion in April 2013 after paying off $10 million in debt.

“We’re pleased with where we’re at,” board president Jeff Busby said. “The market has been very volatile, but it has improved significantly.”

Busby added that the board has also withdrawn just over a $1 million out from dividends of the fund to pay for county road improvement projects.

Sansom said they would be “defensive through the remainder of the year” with investments in order to reduce the volatility even more.