The Bryan County Special Election for Education SPLOST passed on Tuesday for its third run.
All 10 Bryan County precincts, or 100 percent, voted in favor of the Special Election for ESPLOST. On Wednesday, the final count of 1073-330, or a margin of 76.48 percent, was made official for renewing the penny sales tax for education.
"We’re very excited about the projects this will make available," Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said. "We’re also very excited about the fact that this is also a vote of confidence in our public schools and I think that’s very important. I give the credit to our ESPLOST community committee. They went about it very quietly and were very well organized; they handed out brochures at the ballparks and in the car lines and everywhere you can think of. They did it exactly right and I really appreciate the time they put into it."
"I was not surprised the ESPLOST referendum passed, and I was delighted that it passed by a 76 percent margin – the highest yet," said Community Committee Co-chair Carrol Ann Coleman.
Coleman said the county has had the last 10 years to become familiar with ESPLOST and what it can do for the school district.
She said the funds the penny sales tax continues to provide for capital projects is vital in helping upkeep the high standards of the county’s schools.
Brewer gave the final results which the Probate Court verified on Wednesday morning. For this year’s third SPLOST, 1,403 people voted. In 1997, Brewer said the first SPLOST passed with a 67 percent margin and the second SPLOST of 2002 passed by 74 percent.
The continuation of SPLOST for another five years will create funds to continue with the district’s list of capital projects, she said.
"We have the capital project list which is ongoing. And this list isn’t just SPLOST, but also construction funds and local tax dollars – the list includes all the funds we have available for our projects," Brewer said. "With the continuation of SPLOST, we’ll be working on that list and hope to create some building additions and renovations as needed, as well as the construction of new schools, beginning with a new Richmond Hill Middle School and Bryan County Elementary School in Pembroke."
Davis said the 2007 elections went well overall. Despite the two different election sites, there were a significant number of community members who did participate in both elections.
The break down of votes by precinct were:
- 122-19, Pembroke West
- 218-36, Pembroke East
- 66-20, Ellabell
- 27-22, Blitchton
- 103-50, Ways Station
- 31-8, Daniel Siding
- 109-31 Richmond Hill Recreation Complex
- 65-32, Hwy 144 East
- 93-28, Hwy 144 West
- 46-32, J.F. Gregory Park