School board spends near $270,000 on new buses

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ELOST Spending for September Total $459,140.85

High School: $47,122.70 Largest purchase was $31,394 to Great Estates Landscaping

Systemwide: $4,503.70 Largest purchase was $2,853.70 to Morgan County Tax Commissioner

Technology: $138,115.90 Largest purchase was $114,750 to ANS Computer Division – Fiber Optic Network

Transportation: $269,398.55 Single purchase to Rush Truck Center

By Kathryn Schiliro, Managing Editor

Near $270,000 went toward the purchase of three new school buses for the county school system, according to a report from Monday’s Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

The purchase was funded by ELOST, or Education Local Option Sales Tax, funds, a 1 percent sales tax levied by the school board in Morgan County.

ELOST purchases for the month of September totaled more than $459,000, including $47,000-plus spent for items at the high school, $4,500 systemwide and more than $138,000 on technology, in addition to the near $270,000 spent on transportation.

At the high school, almost $31,400 was spent with Great Estates Landscaping. Systemwide spending included more than $2,800 going to the Morgan County Tax Commissioner. And, as far as technology, $114,000-plus was spent with ANS Computer Division on a fiber optic network.

The system’s ELOST fund began the month with near $4.2 million and, after these expenditures and more than $292,000 in receipts, ended the month with $4 million-plus.

The system’s operating fund is “pretty much where we were this time last year,” Superintendent Dr. Ralph Bennett told the BOE. The fund began September with more than $1.7 million and, after receipts of $1.3 million-plus, the deposit of a $2 million CD and expenditures totaling more than $2.3 million, ended the month with near $2.8 million.

Bennett added that there is $6 million in reserves, also “where we were this time last year.”

The school nutrition fund basically broke even, starting last month with more than $97,000, bringing in $123,000, spending almost $125,800 and ending the month with more than $94,000.

At 25 percent of the way through fiscal year 2014 (FY14), the system has collected more than 13 percent of projected revenues – $3.5 million-plus of a budgeted near $26 million – but local money from property taxes has, of course, not yet started to really come in.

As far as expenditures for FY14, Student Transportation and Maintenance and Operations are slightly above the 25 percent mark – 27.7 and 26.25 percents, respectively – but overall, expenditures seem to be on target at 24.56 percent, or more than $6.5 million of a projected $26.7 million-plus.

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