Hewitt: Midway ISD leader talks bond proposal at council workshop

By  | 

HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) The Superintendent of the Midway Independent School District was spreading the word Monday--and says he'll continue to be until election day--about the the district's $148 million bond proposal.

(Photo by Clint Webb)

On the night of the deadline to register for the Nov. 5 Joint General Election, George Kazanas says he was invited to Hewitt's City Council meeting to make a presentation about details of the bond including the reason for it and the tax impact.

"My role now is to provide information to the community about the bond election that's coming up," said Kazanas.

With almost 8,500 students, several schools in the district are currently at capacity, Kazanas says, and the district has a total capacity of 9,170--not enough room for a district that's projected to reach 10,700 students over the next decade.

So through surveys, financial analysis and committee recommendations, in May the Midway school board came to the decision to ask the voters for the bond, essentially a mortgage Kazanas says, to borrow money to build a new school and fund capital improvements and equipment.

"We're anticipating three years from now that we'll be able to address the elementary/middle school-type issues, and then begin renovations of the current middle school, and then our addition to the high school," said Kazanas.

He says 94% of the money would go toward growth including grade reconfiguration and the addition of an eleventh campus, with the remaining six percent slated for renovations and facilities replacement and maintenance.

Kazanas says the bond issue will give the district what it needs to grow while lowering property taxes.

"If this bond election is approved, we're currently at a $1.25 and we're projecting that we can go one more cent lower to $1.24," said Kazanas. "We can lower our interest in the sinking portion of the tax rate one more penny."

They're able to lower the tax rate for three reasons, Kazanas says: more property tax revenue from residential and commercial growth, more revenue from student growth, and debt management.

"We have this capacity because our bonds are 20 years or less," said Kazanas.

If the bond proposal fails, however, he says the district would maintain its $1.25 tax rate, which the district has had since 2008, to pay down debt.

West ISD is also seeking voter approval of a $21 million bond issue to fund a new elementary school, the only other school district bond election in McLennan County on the ballot Nov. 5.