A $90,000 loan for a high school video board? Spending decision draws criticism

Published: Jul. 25, 2017 at 3:43 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 12:11 PM EDT
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CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - School leaders in Kershaw County have been taking heat lately over their decision to provide financial help with a rather large purchase.

Recently, district administrators opted to loan at least $90,000 to Camden High School, according to school district spokeswoman Mary Anne Byrd.

"The loan is to Camden High School, not the Bulldog Club," Byrd said.

That money was then used to buy a refurbished video board for Zemp Stadium, home to the Camden High School Bulldogs.

Members of the school's booster club, the Bulldog Club, say that they are looking to use the board to display game information and sponsorship ads for Camden home football games in the coming years.

Yet, backlash was pretty strong when news of the move appeared on social media. The Bulldog Club has agreed to pay the loan back over the next eight years. Members say that they are confident they will get enough ad revenue to do that.

"I think they're actually going to be fighting over the advertising on this board," Scott Jordan, a Bulldog Club member, said. "There might even be a bidding war and that's just my guess,"

Yet, critics of the loan and purchase say they do not have the same confidence.

"This is wasteful spending," Jimmy Crissman, representative of the Kershaw County Citizens for Limited Government, said. "They do not need this. We only have six home games a year. How in the world are they going to pay for this? They can't pay for this in six home games in a year."

Supporters of the loan also say the new board was needed because the old one at Zemp Stadium was long overdue for replacement.

The Kershaw County school board will be meeting on Aug. 1. Critics of the loan say they plan on being at that meeting.

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