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Lexington Richland 5 reveals financial audit

The school district looked into all spending from 2018-2021.
Credit: Peyton Lewis
The school board shared a summary of a recent audit conducted within the district.

CHAPIN, S.C. — The Lexington Richland 5 School District hosted another bond referendum meeting on Monday.

The district is hoping to raise money to help renovate several schools around the district and create new facilities for students as well.

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However, before the bond referendum was brought up, the district mentioned an audit that was recently conducted in the district.

"There were some things that weren't done right along the way, but we are ready to move forward," said Board Chair, Jan Hammond.

The district took a closer look at spending from 2018-2021 due to a misuse of funds over the years.

"We spent $178,000 on sewage and might as well have just flushed it down the toilet, because we never got what we paid for," cited board member, Catherine Huddle.

Some members of the board also suggested having the last 2008 bond referendum audited before asking voters to make a choice on the newest proposed bond referendum.

The board explained that they wanted to publish the audit so the public can understand how they are controlling their spending now, to reassure people before a new bond referendum goes on the ballot in November.

"We just want to be honest because people need to know that it won't be done wrong again," Vice Chairman, Ken Loveless stated.

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The district has given four options for the new bond referendum over the past few discussions, and has narrowed their choices down to options one and three.

Option one takes no action on upgrading facilities, and rezones 13 elementary schools to address overcrowding and adds portable classrooms to certain schools.

Option three was a collection of $150 million in bonds which would not increase local property taxes. This money would go towards improving all schools with structures that were ranked 'poor' or 'fair'.

"We conducted a community survey and overwhelmingly the community decided that option three would be best," said District Superintendent, Akil Ross.

Superintendent Ross says the board will likely vote to approve the bond referendum at their August 8 meeting. If they vote yes, then the bond referendum will be on ballot in November. 

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