The sudden closing last month of Village Academy in Powell left many students, families and teachers scrambling.

The Delaware County Finance Authority has stepped in to address one issue, approving a $137,000 grant to Village Academy Schools to provide the staff with its last paycheck.

"We felt making sure the staff was paid was the right action to take for the Powell community and Delaware County," Donald Rankey, treasurer of the Delaware County Finance Authority and chairman of the organization's finance committee, said in a news release. "We hope this lightens the impact of the disappointing events leading to the school's closing."

The grant will not apply to administrators who were financial stakeholders in the school.

In a statement posted to the school's website, the decision was made to close Village Academy "due to a decline in enrollment and withdrawal of contracts." The statement was signed "Village Academy Board of Trustees."

Powell Mayor Jon Bennehoof, who is the secretary of the finance authority, advocated intervention by the authority on behalf of the school's teachers.

He also pushed for a memorandum of understanding to assist the Village Academy board of trustees with the sale of its real-property assets in order to meet its financial obligations and to help minimize the impact of the closure on the area.

"I couldn't stand by without getting involved and attempting to divert this potential negative outcome," Bennehoof said in the release. "I now know, since the Finance Authority has approved the memorandum of understanding with Village Academy, there is significant hope that the Village Academy campus may soon be repositioned as a school."

In a joint statement, Bennehoof and Rankey said the finance authority and the Delaware County Office of Economic Development are exploring potential uses and buyers for the property and hope to keep it a school site.

The authority assisted Village Academy in 2009 with a reinvestment into its campus, issuing bonds totaling more than $6.3 million.

The Delaware County Finance Authority is a quasi-governmental entity devoted to promoting economic development by assisting businesses interested in locating in Delaware County through tax-exempt or tax-structured programs.

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