The Orangeburg County School District is to spend nearly half a million dollars to conduct an inventory of the district's fixed assets.
The board voted Tuesday to hire Follett School Solutions Inc. at about $474,000 to conduct the inventory of about 62,000 of the district's fixed assets.
"We don't have an option," OCSD Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster said. "This was a finding on our audit that we have to get corrected. We knew there would be a significant investment to do this for now three total school districts to make sure those things are appropriate for our audit moving forward."
Foster said the inventory project is the final piece the district needs to correct from its 2019-20 audit.
The 2019-20 audit revealed the district failed to include a list of capital asset records and depreciation schedules from the three former school districts consolidated into one.
Follett will inventory resources and identify obsolete materials that need to be removed. The items will all be tagged and barcoded, said Greg Twitty, district procurement coordinator.
The project will also help the district to better keep track of the allocation of resources.
The project will begin in the next two weeks in order to meet an Aug. 7 deadline. At least 50 individuals from Follett will be on campus conducting the inventory audit, Twitty said.
Trustees voted 7-1 to accept the bid. Trustee Dr. William O'Quinn was the only one opposed.
Tax anticipation notice
The board unanimously approved borrowing $12 million to help the district operate until state and property tax revenues are available.
A tax anticipation note is commonly used by some school districts to cover costs until taxe money comes in.
The TAN helps the district pay for teacher salaries, operations, keeping the power on, keeping the water flowing and being able to deliver services to the students and do all the other things that go along with normal operations. The TAN could also pay for any reimbursement of federal dollars the district received for COVID relief.
The majority of the district’s revenue will be received between January and February of 2021, once property taxes are paid.
General obligation bond
The board also unanimously approved the issuance of a general obligation bond not to exceed $6 million.
The district is borrowing the money to pay for various capital projects and technology needs.
The bond will be issued in September through the South Carolina Economic Developers Association (SCEDA) and then taxes will be used to make payments on the bond, said Frannie Heizer, counsel with Burr & Forman.
The district's financial adviser Bob Damron said the bonds are the lowest cost of financing available for school districts.
"We are working with the county on looking at tax and millage rates," Damron said, noting the $6 million would be the maximum borrowed.
The amount of debt service millage has not been finalized.