Central Texas voters decide city and school races, bond proposals
Central Texas voters headed to the polls Saturday to decide dozens of city council and school board races as well as several proposed school bond issues.
Voters in Killeen and Salado approved proposed school bond issues, but voters in West rejected a proposed bond issue to build a new school.
Killeen school district voters said yes to a more than $400 million bond issue that district officials say is necessary to ease school crowding, make safety and security upgrades and improve older campuses.
The first proposition, which calls for a $235 million bond issue to pay for a new high school, a new elementary school and upgrades throughout the district to make schools safer and to improve accessibility for the disabled, passed 3705 to 2637.
The second proposition, which calls for a $191 million bond issue to pay for new schools and renovations at 11 existing campuses all of which are more than 50 years old, passed 3649 to 2672.
The district says it’s the first school construction bond election in the district in 16 years, during which time enrollment has increased by nearly 14,000.
"2022 is our target date for the sixth high school," says KISD Superintendent John Craft.
"We will need one year for design and then a two and a half to three-year construction schedule."
The owner of an average home in the district, valued at just more than $143,000, will pay about $177 a year in additional taxes.
Property owners 65 and older will not pay more, however, because their tax rates are frozen at current levels, the district said.
Salado ISD voters approved $49.4 million bond package to fund a new middle school, new baseball and softball facilities, and other campus improvements.
The proposal passed 1286 to 669.
Proceeds from the bond issue will fund construction of a new middle school, additions at Thomas Arnold Elementary school that will connect all buildings under a single roof, improvements to the existing stadium and construction of new baseball and softball facilities.
Voters in West rejected a proposed $20 million bond issue to pay for a new elementary school to replace the current facility, which was built in 1952 with classrooms that no longer meet state size standards.
The proposal was defeated 529 to 468.
Bellmead voters Saturday approved a 2 percent increase in the city's hotel-motel tax to help fund the upkeep on a proposed minor league baseball stadium.
The increase was approved 258 to 85.
Nearly two years ago, organizers announced that an independent minor league baseball league was being formed, and that a stadium would be built in a field off of Loop 340 to host a local team, which was later named the Bluecats after a public poll.
The stadium will cost as much as $16 million to build, and funding will need to be lined up before the project gets underway.
The city has committed a maximum of $4 million to the project.