I attended the SPLOST IV Oversight Committee Meeting this evening. This is the committee appointed by the previous superintendent to keep an eye on how the SPLOST program is being handled. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.
Given the history of the district, an oversight committee is needed. My impression is this group of people takes their job seriously, is competent, asks intelligent questions, and is powerless.
Throughout the agenda presenters referred to projects being changed due to community feedback. This new approach by the district is welcomed. However, many of the changes cause increases in costs. For example the BOE approved an additional $1.8 million for the Gresham E.S. replacement. Redan H.S. added $300,000 to their project for improvements to their baseball field. Henderson Middle School was at the 80% done with design point when the district held the first community input session. That project will be delayed a whole year to meet the needs of the students instead of the desires of the central office staff.
A better approach would be to get community input earlier in the process and avoid changes.
This is what the Oversight Committee recommended a year ago. The district staff is just now warming that suggestion. I would be interested in knowing the total increase of costs in SPLOST IV due to changes in projects.
Other items of note include:
- Contractors are having trouble getting permits from DeKalb County.
- Several departments are coordinating to make sure work over the summer doesn't interfere with summer programs.
- SPLOST IV tax revenues are coming in at 108% of predicted.
- Many of the committees recommendations from last year have been implemented. Several are still outstanding.
- Community updates for the Fernbank E.S. and the Henderson M.S. projects will be held in May - date TBD.
- The Monthly Status Report due to be released in April is late due to several changes in format which the district asked URS to make.
- URS is getting ready for the SPLOST IV audit.
- The district continues to have problems with relatively new roofs leaking and enforcing warranties.
I recommend everyone read through the information on the SPLOST IV web site. The Monthly Status Reports are large PDFs, but searching them is quick and easy. Every month, each SPLOST project is updated. If you have any questions about anything SPLOST related, the best way to find the answer is to look at the most recent Monthly Status Report.
- This blog represents only my observations and opinions. I do not speak for any other person or group.