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School SPLOST collection numbers looking up

COVINGTON — Although the Newton County School System's SPLOST collections started coming in slowly in this down economy, the figures are looking better.

In the first six months of collections, the current SPLOST account received $5,133,774.50, averaging $855,629.08 per month, according to NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter, who gave the figures during the Newton County Board of Education's monthly work session last week.

"That's looking pretty good," Carpenter said.

He said that officials originally projected average collections of $750,000 per month.

In the last reported month of June, SPLOST III collected $816,901, which was a decrease of about $54,000 from May collections. In May, $871,636.57 was collected, which was up more than $50,000 in April.

"SPLOST is holding pretty good," Carpenter said.

Business Manager Peggy Bullard said the current estimate for the five-year SPLOST III collections is $50,305,000.

The SPLOST funds can be used only for specific projects that were previously approved in a referendum by voters.

The SPLOST III account is expected to pay for such projects as Live Oak Elementary School, Sharp Stadium improvements, elementary and middle school additions as needed depending on enrollment growth, technology and media for current schools, lease payments for current buses and the purchase of new buses and possibly the new elementary school on Airport Road at Ga. Highway 142 and the Newton College & Career Academy.