Board of Education will ask voters to approve 2020 ESPLOST in Nov.


Dr. Damon Gibbs

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to place a $48 million ESPLOST referendum before the voters in November.

The current ESPLOST, which was approved in 2015, can extend through 2021 or until the Board collects $36.5 million, whichever comes first. Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs said he expects to reach the $36.5 million limit in late spring or early summer this year.

“The 2020 ESPLOST would be a continuation of the current one,” Gibbs said. “We have to submit the ballot question to the ballot builders by Aug. 5, then we have to publish several notifications in the newspaper and the referendum would be held on Nov. 5.”

If voters approve the one-cent tax, the maximum collectible amount would be set at $48 million and the maximum bonded indebtedness would be $10 million.

Chief Financial Officer Jamie Ulrich presented the financial report for the month of June and the current ESPLOST update.

“Everything on the financial statement is very good,” she said. “We still have about $290,000 in purchase orders open. We still have to get those closed before we are anywhere close to closing out FY 2019.” Currently the report shows $41,672,087 in expenditures and $41,181,337 in revenue.

The SPLOST report for the month of June shows revenue totaled $779,764, which is $143,070 ahead of projections and approximately $57,000 more than the same month last year. Year to date, collections are $27,073,143, about $3 million more than last year.

Renee Rogers gave the Board a review of Camp Invention which was held in June. Camp Invention is a STEM summer program that turns curious students into innovative thinkers. It is a nationally acclaimed program where STEM concepts come to life.

The theme of the 2019 program was Supercharged. Students took on four challenges – Innovative Force, Deep Sea Mystery, Farm Tech and DIY Orbot.

“It was an awesome experience,” Rogers said. “We had eight teachers, two parent volunteers, 25 high school students, five middle school students that worked together.”

Funding for the event was provided by Dawson County Charter Fund, McKinney Vento Scholarship and Nordsen Corp.


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