PISD trustees call for May bond election

The Pleasanton Independent School District trustees have called for a bond election totaling $85 million that will go before the voters at the May 11 election. The school board voted unanimously at the February 19 meeting.

How it was decided

The decision was not made lightly. Months were spent analyzing the school district’s needs by focus groups consisting of former and current teachers and administrators, parents, civic leaders, business owners, booster club members, taxpayers and community members.

Pleasanton ISD Administrators also took into consideration the current condition of the overall facilities, technology and safety needs. A Traffic Flow study was also performed by TXDoT to determine the problematic congested areas around the different campuses.

Also, on March 4th, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute team will be in district to record traffic across the complex. They will be using a video trailer (videos will be destroyed at end of study) and likely road tubes at several locations. They will then be able to provide the district a recommended traffic flow for next year and after the construction projects to assist decisions concerning road construction.

Chief Salsedo will coordinate and inform the Pleasanton Police. The information will be included on the web so that the community understands why there are vans video recording parent drop-offs of students.

What it will include

Noting the outdated high school buildings and the inability to add on to the elementary school on Main Street, the recommendation to build a new high school with a new football stadium was made to the trustees based on these studies.

Technology upgrades, facilities to promote competitive learning programs such as agricultural sciences, oil and gas academy, business and technology management and health and human services, are all considerations for the new structures.

Retrofitting the other campuses to accommodate students’ needs is also included in the proposal, as well as making these schools safer by adding secure entrances and play areas for the younger students.

The timing is right with the low interest rates and construction costs plus the increased revenue due to the Eagle Ford Shale play in the area.

Details will be shared prior to the election to ensure voters are well informed through public question/answer meetings and informative flyers.

How it will impact the taxpayer

This bond election will increase the current tax rate ($1.13) by 30-35 cents based on a 30-year re-payment schedule. On a home worth $100,000, the taxes would increase to about $23 more per month.

The rate was $1.59 10 years ago. Homeowners 65 and over, will not be affected.

Money raised through taxes for ‘debt service’ such as the bond cannot be recaptured by the state at a later date. All funds remain within the district to fund the bond.

Voting dates

Early voting will be held April 29 through May 7 at the PISD Central Office Administration Building at 831 Stadium Drive, with Election Day on Saturday, May 11.

Not registered?

Registration to become eligible to vote ends on April 11, 2013.

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