The Tift County Board of Education approved several Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) projects at a recent meeting.
At the start of the meeting, Finance Director Klinton Guess gave the financial report and SPLOST reports, informing board members that all bills are paid. He said the ending fund balance is in the neighborhood of $8.3 million.
When discussing SPLOST dollars, he noted this money is being used for many projects.
"We want to see our SPLOST used," Guess said. "We're using SPLOST for everything from textbooks to bus repair purchases to renovation on our buildings, student safety stuff."
He added, "It's because of this previous board, Mr. (Patrick) Atwater and a lot of folks coming together on our SPLOST referendum. We're very fortunate to have SPLOST that the citizens of Tift County are willing to approve for us." He said it doesn't hurt that they don't have any debt either.
Board member Rita Griffin said it may look like they have a pile of money in SPLOST, but what a lot of people don't realize is that every penny of it is budgeted out and it doesn't go out at the same time.
"We do operate over a five-year plan," she said. "That's what people need to understand."
SPLOST is restricted money. All of the money is spoken for, Griffin noted.
The board approved the following SPLOST projects: the purchase of six modular classrooms through educational and institutional cooperative purchasing at a cost of $245,625, low bid for renovations and modifications for Eighth Street Middle School and bus drive improvements at Tift County High School (Jones Construction) for $1,202,000, low bid for the access control system for Tift County Schools (Cooper Craft Communications) for $679,520 with a $112,166 deduction for a final cost of $567,354 and the furniture order for Matt Wilson Elementary School and TCHS for $92,159.40.