E-SPLOST Collections Lower Than Projections, But Still Covering HS Debt Costs

Stephens County School Superintendent Bryan Dorsey said this week that E-SPLOST is falling short of the maximum projected collections, but still coming in at a high enough rate to cover paying off the bond payments for the construction at Stephens County High School.

When asked at Monday’s called meeting about E-SPLOST collections, Dorsey said that the school system was coming up about $50,000 a month short of projections.

The school system began collecting E-SPLOST IV in early 2013.

When it was passed by voters, the school system projected a collection of $18.5 million over five years.

Averaging that out per month equals about $308,000 each month.

Since E-SPLOST IV collections started, the highest month for collections came in at just over $294,000 and most months come in around the $250,000 to $270,000 range.

School board members noted that the $250,000 a month is what the school system needs for the high school bond payments.

Dorsey said the school system is hitting that number.

“That $250,000 a month is just for debt service to the high school,” said Dorsey. “To do any of the other projects would require past that. We are okay on the high school. If we wanted to upgrade computers at a school, that is not an option. We are not bringing in enough revenue to do that.”

When passed by voters in 2011, the school system said the projected $18.5 million from the one-cent sales tax would cover expenditures including the retirement of the 2008 and 2009 bond series that helped fund the construction and renovation of the new Stephens County High School, and as funds were available, things like technology upgrades, new buses, and retirement of the Quality School Construction Bonds that funded new roofs and other improvements at Big A, Toccoa, and Eastanollee Elementary schools.