In a time of massive belt tightening in the public sector, yesterday a parcel of loans totalling $16 million dollars was approved for use in villages, towns and cities across Wisconsin. The funds were green-lighted by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL). The loans, drawn from the State Trust Fund, will help pay for everything from a wastewater project in Wausaukee to a dam repair in the Village of Lac La Belle.
Born with the state in 1848, the BCPL was established to accept federal land grants and to manage Trust Funds for the benefit of public education in Wisconsin. Membership is constitutionally directed to be comprised of an odd (at least in modern times) assortment of political players: the Secretary of State, the State’s Attorney General, and the State Treasurer. The majority of Trust Fund assets are held in the Common School Fund, from which the majority of State Trust Fund loans are issued. Earnings from this fund are distributed to K-12 public school libraries annually. A total of $32.5 million was distributed to public school libraries in 2012.
The Board has offices in Madison and in Lake Tomahawk.