$9.9 million school bond election called
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Carolyn Thomas, far right, discusses the bond election with school board member Jack Chubb, Superintendent Patsy Bolton and board president Jaquelyn Brice during a board meeting at noon Monday.
Staff photo by Angela Pitts
August 15, 2005 - Trustees of Sulphur Springs Independent School District called for an Oct. 20 bond election at a noon meeting Monday. Voters will be asked to consider two options, one for a new bond and another to refund existing debt.

Proposition No. 1 calls for the issuance of one or more series of bonds for a total of $9,930,000 "for the purpose of the construction, renovation, acquisition and equipment of school buildings in the district." It allows the board of trustees to levy the "annual ad valorem taxes on all taxable property in the district, sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds."

Proposition No. 2 would allow for the refunding of tax and revenue notes to the tune of $3,640,000. In essence, this proposition would allow the board to issue bonds for refunding all or a portion of the district's tax and revenue notes, series 2000 and 2003, "with said bond to mature, bear interest, and be issued and sold in accordance with law at the time of issuance," according to the bond order.

Funds from the $9.93 million bond would be utilized for repairs, renovation and construction in order to correct structural and other existing problems, as well as provide adequate science labs and facilities and fine arts areas at the school.

The motion calling for the bond election was made by board member Judy Gillem, second by Carolyn Thomas, and approved on a unanimous vote by the 7-member board.

Just prior to the vote, LaVelle Hendricks asked during open forum how soon the board would return to the community asking their support for additional bonds to fund repairs and renovations to provide much needed space and repairs at other campuses.

Board president Jackie Brice advised him that the board was not allowed to comment and answer questions during open forum, but following the meeting did address the issue.

She said that the other areas, which would have been covered in last year's failed $39 million bond, were still of concern, but that issues at high school due to its immediate needs were being addressed first. The district will continue to evaluate needs at other facilities and at a later date, likely after the high school project is addressed, will then attempt to find solutions to those other problems and means to fund them. However, at this point, Brice was unable to give a time line for any other projects.

She noted that the work at the high school, particularly the repairs and science upgrades are necessary, and should the community not support the bond proposal, will have to be addressed in other ways.

"If it doesn't pan out we will have to regroup and try to think of other things, other ways," Brice said. "We do not have the funds here in the district to do it, but we will have to find them somewhere."

She suggested that anyone in doubt of the needed repairs and renovations tour the high school facility to observe first hand the needs.

The bond election will be conducted in the Administration Building, 631 Connally Street, Oct. 20. Early voting would be held at the location Oct. 3-14.

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