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Colorado City Schools in Financial Trouble

Colorado City Schools in Financial Trouble

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KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- Checks from the Colorado City Unified School District began bouncing Oct. 18, a top Mohave County school official said.

The district's line of credit with Wells Fargo Bank was frozen Monday, when there were no funds to pay district employees, said Mohave County School Superintendent Mike File.

File signs checks for all public schools in Mohave County except for the Kingman Unified School District and charter schools.

"They (the Colorado City district) have no money in their cash treasurer's account," File was quoted as saying in the Kingman Daily Miner.

Debra Herbert of the Mohave County Attorney's Office civil division confirmed the district "has reached its credit limit."

"We're taking steps to try to increase the cash flow to try to receive advance distribution of state appropriations," said Alvin Barlow, the Colorado City district's superintendent.

Barlow said the district is also trying to expedite approvals of federal projects and programs so federal funds can be released.

The district also is trying to increase the credit line with the bank.

File said the lack of funds is because United Effort Plan, which owns most of the property in Colorado City, is not paying its tax bills on a timely basis.

Herbert said that school property taxes are due Nov. 1.

The lack of funds is affecting payroll checks for some 60 school district employees, including 40 teachers.

Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, are heavily populated with members of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a splinter offshoot of the mainline Mormon church, which disavowed polygamy in 1890 and excommunicates those who practice plural marriage.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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