MARIETTA — The Marietta City School Board, with the exception of newcomer Brett Bittner, voted Tuesday night to put the SPLOST IV referendum before Cobb County voters on March 19, 2013.
The Cobb County School Board meets today and is expected to do the same.
The Marietta board also got an update from Bob Sussenbach with CGLS of Atlanta on the status of Marietta High School’s auditorium, which is currently under construction.
After the meeting, Bittner explained why he opposed the SPLOST project list, resolution and contract with Cobb Board of Elections to host the election in March.
“I did like the ($15.2 million) debt retirement in SPLOST because that is something that will provide us with opportunities in the future for student achievement, but I just thought there was too much being spent in a way that wouldn’t affect student achievement,” he said.
Bittner also said he was concerned about the special election in March and suggested that voter turnout may be better if it were delayed to November. He pointed out that last Tuesday’s election brought roughly 75 percent of Cobb’s registered voters to the polls, compared the 11 percent that voted in March.
Marietta and Cobb will split the SPLOST IV 1 percent sales tax, which will be collected between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2018, based on the number of students enrolled in each district. Marietta expects to receive around $55 million, or 7 percent, over the five-year period, with Cobb Schools getting the remaining $718 million.
The project list for Marietta includes using funds to pay off the district’s debt, which includes a $3 million bond for the high school auditorium; $20.2 million in construction, modifications, renovations and equipment such as updating Northcutt Stadium for about $5.3 million, which could include $630,000 for synthetic turf; $2 million for transportation; and $16.3 million in technology upgrades.
As for Marietta High’s auditorium, Sussenbach said the $8.5 million project is on schedule to be completed by the end of July 2013 and that they are finishing up site grading, erecting steel and the roof decking on the addition, starting to put up concrete blocks for the interior and exterior walls, and laying the first bricks.
In other news, the board:
- Approved a $97,870 contract with W.E. Contracting of Acworth to construct a stormwater pollution prevention facility, which will be located next to the bus maintenance facility off Dodd Street in Marietta. It will be paid for out of the district’s Building Fund.
The facility is required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to meet the guidelines in addressing stormwater runoff where district vehicle maintenance is performed.
- Tabled a $83,363 automobile insurance annual contract with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance company, which would be paid for out of the district’s General Fund. They will consider it for approval again at the December meeting.
- Approved a $36,257 contract with The Booksource of St. Louis, Mo., to purchase 7,281 leveled reading books for Hickory Hills Elementary School. The materials will be paid for with Title I funds.
- Approved a $20,940 contract with Dell to purchase 30 laptops at $698 each with two-year extended service and support warranties for the Marietta High School Early Childhood Education Career Pathway.
The computers will be paid for with CTAE Perkins Program Improvement and Industry Certification funds.
- Recognized Marietta City bus driver Bonnie Banks of Mableton as the district’s November Employee of the Month for using her veteran skills during a bus accident on Oct. 26 off South Marietta Parkway.