BONIFAY — The Holmes County School District met July 16 and approved of advertising for a public hearing at 5:15 p.m. on July 29 to discuss a possible 1.5 mill property tax in addition to the to the school’s proposed tax of 6.043 mills.
The tax is estimated to generate $670,751 to go towards building the new Bonifay Middle and Elementary Schools, reimburse maintenance, renovation and repairs, roof repairs and replacement, paving, purchase of seven school buses, purchasing school furniture and equipment district wide and lease purchase of Data Processing Equipment.
Superintendent of School Eddie Dixon gave a preview of the presentation he would be presenting before the visiting representatives from the Florida Department of Education about building the new Bonifay Middle and Elementary Schools.
“In 1985 Ponce de Leon High was built for $5,299,402; in 1988 Holmes County High was built for $12,042,055; in 1997 Bethlehem School was built for $15,527,022; and in 2003 Poplar Springs School was built for $13,322,713 for a total of $46,191,192,” said Dixon. “What they all have in common is that these schools would not have existed without the Special Facilities Program.”
He explained that the value of one mill in Holmes County is equivalent to $412,000 and the value of Walton County is $11,200,000.
“With our one mill we could purchase three buses, but with their one mill they could purchase 82 buses,” said Dixon. “But that’s also why we qualify for a special grant.”
Dixon also explained that the new schools would be a benefit to both the school and the community.
“There would be a modern spacious facility that accommodates today’s numbers, designed for today’s students,” he said. “It would be safer from outside threats, a consolidation cost savings to facilities, maintenance, personnel, resources and energy. There would be simplified and safer bus traffic, better control of the students, simplified parent traffic flow, convenient for parents and closer to and on the same side of the railroad tracks as the hospital, police, Emergency Management Services and the Fire Department.”
For the community he said it would be beneficial because of it doubling as a “special needs shelter” located on the South end of the county which will balance out the needs as Poplar Springs serves as a shelter in the northern portion of the county.
“Not to mention a new water tower for Southwest Bonifay, upgraded streets and new sidewalks,” said Dixon.
Chair Rusty Williams also thanked everyone for their work towards getting the new schools built.
“I want to thank the board members and staff and all those involved in process of developing and building these new schools,” said Williams. “Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication towards building our students a brighter future in Holmes County.”
Board member Debbie Kolmetz said that she had attended the Rural Summit on Safety in Quincy.
“We had some speakers come in from Sandy Hook and I found it to be very informative,” said Kolmetz.