SAN PATRICIO COUNTY  –  With major industry coming to the county and the $1.7 billion Steel Dynamics, Inc. plant currently being built, local schools are definitely taking advantage.

This year there are two  school bond issues on the ballot; one for Sinton ISD and one for Gregory-Portland ISD.

The main thing both school districts have in common is they want the residents to know that their property tax rates will not increase. State law requires the ballot to say ‘this is a property tax increase’ for all bond items because usually they are. 

 “We had a facility committee of over 70 community members that recommended the bond move forward,” Sinton ISD Superintendent Chad Jones said. “In large part it’s in reaction to this gift that we feel fell into our laps with Steel Dynamics and the increase in certified value that it’s going to bring.”

Jones elaborated by saying that even though there will be more Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax dollars generated by the bond passing, Steel Dynamics Inc. will be paying the majority of those taxes. That causes the school district not to increase the tax rate. I&S tax rates provide funds for debt payments that finances a school district’s facilities.

Sinton ISD’s approved package will total $111,060,000 and provide district-wide campus improvements with a majority of funds designated for construction of a new high school.

The ballot will include two propositions.

PROPOSITION A

$91,390,000

 This proposition includes construction of a new high school on the existing campus site and expansion of the agriculture livestock building. It will also provide facility improvements and safety upgrades at Welder and Sinton Elementary Schools along with Smith Middle School.

PROPOSITION B

$19,670,000

​This proposition includes construction of new extracurricular and athletic facilities at Sinton High School and Smith Middle School to increase equity and accessibility to student programs and replace undersized, inefficient facilities.

“By adding Steel Dynamics, it has given us an opportunity to go through with this bond,” Jones said. “The big ticket item is a new high school. All the rest of our campuses are less than 20 years old and need some minor upgrades, safety upgrades and renovations, but the high school is 53 years old.

“Classroom  sizes also don’t meet Texas Education Agency (TEA) recommendations. That’s very important especially these days when you’re looking at kids returning to class and needing to social distance and that kind of thing.”

For more information on Sinton ISD’s bond visit www.sintonisdbond.net.

Gregory-Portland

Over at Gregory-Portland ISD, they are looking to get their $107.7 million bond passed, also with no property tax increase for the residents.

“What we’re very excited about bond 2020 is that there is something in this whole bond package – Proposition A and B – for every single student in our district as well as those future students,” G-PISD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Cavazos. “We’re able to ask for this bond with no increase to the total tax rate for both Propositions A and B that total of $107.7 million and will be funded 88% by local industry.”

The ballot will include two propositions.

PROPOSITION A

$98,486,333

This proposition includes construction, acquisition, renovation, and equipment of school buildings in the district, for the purchase of the necessary sites for school buildings and for the purchase of new school buses; and the levying of a tax sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and to pay the costs of any credit agreements executed or authorized in anticipation of, in relation to or in connection with the bonds.

PROPOSITION B

$9,253,667

This proposition includes the acquisition or update of technology equipment and the levying of a tax sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and to pay the costs of any credit agreements executed or authorized in anticipation of, in relation to or in connection with the bonds.

We just want to encourage everyone to get out and vote in the election this year,” Cavazos added.

More G-PISD bond information can be found at www.g-pisd.org/bond

•pgonzales@mysoutex.com•

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