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ESPLOST passes, Hart elected to school board

McDuffie County voters overwhelmingly gave their approval to another round of penny tax collections for the McDuffie County School System during a special election Tuesday.

And District 4 voters sent the Rev. Dorothy Hart to the school board to fill the unexpired term of Nether Ivery.

"It's an experience that I think I'll enjoy," she said, shortly after the votes were tallied Tuesday night at the McDuffie County Courthouse. Rev. Hart received 135 votes to Mr. Darby's 46 votes, including advance and absentee ballots.

"I've got to find out first what's to do, and, you know, get to know how it works and how it functions," she said. "...I don't mean to go in there with a gun or a hatchet or something right now. I just really need to sit back right now and find out what's going on."

Meanwhile, more than 87.86 percent of voters said yes to the continuation of the Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. In all, 919 voted for the tax package, while 127 voted against it.

"We appreciate the community's support, and we're going to do them proud," McDuffie County Superintendent of Schools Mark Petersen said Tuesday night. "We have a plan ready. Right now, we are waiting for the bids on the new school to come in, and that's our first project."

ESPLOST IV will be limited at $23 million or five years, whichever comes first. Collection of ESPLOST IV dollars will start as soon as the collection of current penny sales tax dollars stop.

Projects to be completed by ESPLOST IV include a new junior high school on White Oak Road, a new Norris Elementary School building, pitched roofs on all schools with a flat roof, safety and security items, vocational/music/athletic equipment, technology equipment, school buses, Brickyard stadium improvements, student furniture and general repairs on existing buildings.

McDuffie County Board of Elections Chairman Bill Beckum said only 8.7 percent of McDuffie County's 12,228 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.

"It was about what we expected I think, but I think that's low for a turnout," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006

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