Henry County Schools approves bus purchase, retire bond debt

Henry County Schools logo in purple on white background

The Henry County Board of Education held their monthly meeting on Monday, June 14. During the meeting, they approved several items to include a new school bus purchase and retiring bond debt. The board also established a capital accumulation fund.

School Bus Purchase

Henry County Schools was notified in May they would receive state funds to buy ten new school buses. The state funds require a local match. HCS will use fuel cost savings from the past year to fund the local match.

The school board approved the purchase of four 72-passenger buses and six 48-passenger special needs buses. All ten buses feature air conditioning. The 72-passenger buses will run off propane following previous fleet additions. The 48-passenger buses will continue to use gasoline to provide longer route capacity.

The ten buses cost $1,047,600. State funds provide $772,200 with local funding applied in the amount of $275,400.

As part of the education SPLOST VI program, the school board will consider the purchase of twenty-five new buses later this year. The program includes funds to buy 125 new buses over a five-year period. The E-SPLOST funds are in addition to any state funds received.

Bond Debt

The board also voted to defease roughly $51 million dollars of bond debt. The district will use $60 million in debt service funds to pay down the series 2016 bond debt. The district issued the series 2016 bonds for SPLOST V projects. The move will save the district an estimated $15 million in interest. The interest payments were otherwise required in the years 2032 and 2033.

Presently, the school district has bond debt from three series: 2011, 2016 and 2018. The recent education SPLOST V referendum also approved additional bond sales. Revenue from bond sales cover the cost of capital projects. A portion of local sales tax and property tax then pay back the bonds.

Capital Accumulation Fund

Finally, the school district voted to commit $10 million dollars into a capital accumulation fund. The funding will provide for the following:

  • School furniture, fixtures and equipment,
  • STEM equipment for elementary school labs, and
  • Planning resource system upgrades.

Establishing the fund was identified during the district’s strategic action plan. The district recently unveiled the plan following nearly two years developing it. The school district plans to spend the funds in the years 2022–2026.

Featured image shows Henry County Schools logo. Photo credit Henry County Schools.

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