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NCSS sees increase in SPLOST revenues

COVINGTON — The Newton County School System’s September SPLOST III distribution was $883,245, an increase of $35,683 over the August distribution, NCSS Business Manager Peggy Bullard reported to the Board of Education during its work session Tuesday night. The distribution in September was for collections in August.

The total distributions for the first 44 months of the SPLOST is approximately $37,534,828, Bullard said. Distributions are averaging $873,138 per month, she said. In comparison, SPLOST II averaged $830,490 per month during its five-year term.

SPLOST III is expected to generate $53 million over five years. The SPLOST expires in 2014 and SPLOST IV takes effect January 2015.

NCSS collected $104,685 in revenues in August from the new 6.5 percent automobile title tax that went into effect this year, according to Bullard. Collections of that tax average $127,231 per month.

According to Bullard’s report, “The tax office had not submitted the tax collection information for September at the time the financial reports had to be posted. Since that date we have received $2 million from them. The first installment from the property taxpayers is not due until Oct. 20, so we should see much more in collections for the October financials.”

Bullard reported expenditures are within budget at 24.79 percent spent with 25 percent of the year completed.

In other news, the Board of Education adopted a resolution recognizing School Bus Safety Week Oct. 21 to 25. The week serves to remind motorists of the importance of stopping and exercising patience when the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended on a school bus, according to a memo from Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey to the BOE. Recognition of School Bus Safety Week complements the ongoing efforts of the school system to ensure the safety of students transported on school buses, Fuhrey said.

On Tuesday, NCSS will kick off a new school bus safety program adapted from Forsyth County Schools. The kickoff will take place at Heard-Mixon Elementary School, where students will learn about safety rules and meet Elvis the Safety Owl.

In her memo, Fuhrey said the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration deems school buses the safest mode of transportation to and from school for students. “Keeping school buses safe is dependent upon school bus driver training, student safety education and public awareness,” the memo states.