Hosmer Responds To SPLOST Discussions At Board Meeting

Chattooga School Superintendent Jared Hosmer responded to the recent discussions of the Chattooga County Board of Education to try to clear up what was talked about.
“At our last board meeting we introduced the information to have the SPLOST put on the March referendum and we have been working on that since before the October meeting,” Supt. Hosmer said. “We have been working with Bill Camp in trying to figure out the best plan of attack to get the SPLOST out there and to get it passed.”
In November, Hosmer will bring to the board the actual wording of the referendum that will go on the ballot for them to approve.
“It is a two-part referendum, the first part is asking for approval for a continuation of the SPLOST in 2023 to pay back the debt when we built the Lyerly Gym and the last 12-classroom addition to Leroy Massey Elementary School,” he explained.
The money is set to start paying back in 2023
“We need to pass the SPLOST to pay that debt back,” the superintendent said. “The second part of the referendum at the same time the ability to sometime in the future build a school at Menlo.”
At the Menlo school, the gym is 80-something years old and the main building at Menlo that houses the bulk of the students is 70-something years old.
“It is time to build a school at Menlo,” Supt Hosmer said. “When I say it is time, I don’t mean next year. Some time in the future we have to be progressive and seek funding to build a school.”
He added that the school system would never be able to save enough money on its own out its general fund to build a school.
“It is just not possible,” he added.
The system is projecting that a couple of years from now a school at Menlo costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-million.
“The only way to build that school is to sell bonds and then pay those back through a SPLOST in the future. That is why we asked for those two items,” Hosmer said.
The second part of the item on the referendum is planning for the future – putting in place a mechanism to make sure that community gets a new school that is well-deserved,” Supt. Hosmer said.

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