Owasso School district keeping a watchful eye on WorldCom

Tuesday, May 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

More bad news for WorldCom. Standard and Poor announced Tuesday it has removed WorldCom from its Standard and Poor 500 index. The company's stock price has dropped.

What's bad news for WorldCom is bad news for Owasso. The town relies heavily on the company for tax revenue. News on Six business reporter Steve Berg says nobody is watching the ongoing developments more closely than the Owasso School district.

The school district has a number of construction projects in the works. And capital improvements rely "entirely" on property taxes. Owasso school officials say WorldCom represents roughly 10% of the assessed value for their entire district.

It's a big "if" at this point, but "if" WorldCom were to go under, it would have a huge impact on the Owasso schools. Owasso School superintendent, Dale Johnson, "If they did, it really would affect our ability to bond the amount that we're bonding right now, plus we'd lose a lot of good friends and neighbors that are very interested in our public schools."

The superintendent says it's his understanding that if the company were to go "bankrupt", they would still pay property taxes. So now, they're just concerned with keeping the company in town.