Baptist trust funds bounce back for city, county

Published 2:48 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The trust funds from the sale of the former Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi hospital on South Lamar in 2012 for both the city of Oxford and Lafayette County rebounded this past fiscal year after taking a hit in 2023.

The fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31 for both accounts.

Both the city and county received $30M in 2012 from the sale of the old Baptist building. The city put all $30M into a trust fund. The county chose to pay off its debt at $10M and put the remaining $20M into a trust fund.

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As of March 31, the city of Oxford’s total trust holdings are $39,174,741, up from $35,998,064 in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

The fund is about $9M above the original investment.

The city can choose each year to take 3 percent of funds to use in its general account.

For the 2024/2025 city fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, city leaders can choose to take out $1,175,242 to use toward various projects and equipment purchases that will be included in the upcoming budget. The city is currently working on next year’s budget which will be approved in September.

Since its inception, the city has received almost $10M in payouts from the interest of the fund.

Last year Lafayette County could take any funds from its trust fund as it would have dropped the value below the original $20M investment.

However, as of March 31, the fund was valued at $21,686,145, up from $20,057,599 in March 2023.

This year, the Supervisors can elect to withdraw $575,000 after expenses are paid.

Since the fund’s inception, the county has received about $4 million that it traditionally uses to pave and repair county roads in each district.

Ed Maxwell with Watkins, Ward and Stafford accounting firm presented both the city and county their annual Municipal Reserve and Trust Fund Audits during their regular board meetings recently.