With the final phase of a debt-restructuring plan under way, Mayor Bob Rial says Dickson County should be in a much better position to address major needs such as new schools in seven years. With recent discussion by the school board about talking with the county commission about funding for facility needs now, the mayor said Monday the county will be in much better shape to take on new debt by 2020 when it is projected that no property tax dollars will need to be dedicated to debt service. The 2013-14 budget is projected to allocate 55 cents of the current $2.85 tax rate to debt, down from 60 cents this year. In what the mayor has called a debt bubble, that amount will lessen until it vanishes in 2020 without any more borrowing before that point. “It will open the door if we continue on this path that we’ll be in a position that if schools is the priority of this commission and the school board those will be available and be open in the budget year 2020-21, fall of 2020. It will probably put us in a position to start planning construction on those schools in the budget year 2018,” Rial told commissioners. The school board’s three-year-old long-range building program has been on hold due to a lack of funding. The $62 million plan originally called for $4 million in renovations and additions to White Bluff and Oakmont elementary schools to be completed by 2011, a new $20 million middle school to be built in Burns by 2013 along with $2 million in renovations to Stuart-Burns Elementary, $7 million in renovations to Dickson County High School and $5 million in renovations to Dickson Middle School in 2015 and construction of a $13 million school to replace Dickson Elementary by 2016. Jeff Corlew of C&I Design has told the board those cost projections could have already increased as much as 10 percent since the project has been on hold. Rial said he has been in discussions with Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks about the school system’s projected needs and when the county likely will be able to begin addressing them.