- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) - Financially troubled South Carolina State University could get some budget help with $13 million in federal money.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reports (http://bit.ly/1oBw9rj ) that President Thomas Elzey says the money was originally awarded to the school for create archives at the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center.

But Elzey says a letter to local lawmakers from U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn indicates the money could be used for other purposes. Elzey wants clarification because using the money elsewhere would require changing federal law.

“If he’s willing to help make that happen, then we say, ‘Let’s do it,’” Elzey said. “Not only do we need to pay our bills, we need things to be done all over the place.”

The university board voted Thursday to work with Clyburn to get the money reallocated. The money would help ease the university’s financial problems and Elzey said the school has infrastructure needs and has delayed maintenance.

A committee of current and former state college presidents has determined the school has an $18 million deficit and the state earlier this year approved a $6 million loan.

The trustees also voted to authorize Board Chairman Dr. William Small to accept the committee’s offer of a $12 million loan over three years.

Under the plan, the school will get $6 million this fiscal year in equal quarterly payments. It will receive $4 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year and $2 million the following year payable at the start of each year.

The loan is contingent on the school maintaining a balanced budget. The committee will also appoint experts in various areas to monitor university finances.

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Information from: The Times & Democrat, http://www.timesanddemocrat.com

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