Hays CISD trustees call bond election

Updated 8:20 p.m.

Hays CISD trustees unanimously approved calling a bond election for $59.1 million in improvement projects — including a new middle school.

A motion by trustee Marty Kanetzky to reduce the total cost of the bond to $57.5 million, less an item for purchasing computer workstations, was defeated. Kanetzky supported the computer upgrades but felt they should be funded with district savings.

Trustee Holly Raymond then made the successful motion to approve an election order with the recommended amount of $59.1 million.

Board President Willie Tenorio signed the order for a May 10 bond election prior to leaving the Feb. 24 meeting.

Posted 11:45 a.m.

Ahead of a vote Feb. 24 on whether to call a bond election, Hays CISD has altered its final asking price for its taxpayers to potentially take on.

The price tag is about $200,000 cheaper after Hays CISD's attorney advised the district it was not able to use bond money for vehicles that will not be transporting students because of a recent state attorney general ruling, according to a district news release.

Removing the vehicles—two tractor trailers to transport band instruments and a box truck to deliver district mail—brings the total amount of the bond to about $59.1 million.

According to the release, the district hopes to fund the vehicle purchases through other means.

The line item the vehicles were included in now totals $67,000, for the purchase of two sport utility vehicles that will transport homeless students living outside of the district.

One challenge the board will face as it aims to achieve consensus tonight is whether technology initiatives, such as iPad and mobile device purchases, should be included.

Trustee Marty Kanetzky raised concerns at a Feb. 17 meeting that the technology will be obsolete in five years, a far shorter lifespan than the 25-year note that will be taken out to repay the bond package.

However, Board President Willie Tenorio said priority in paying off the note would go toward technology so that the payments are made within the "expected useful life" of the devices.

Kanetzky suggested the district use funds from its fund balance to purchase the technological upgrades.

But with a facilities study set to be done, the district may need its savings to repair dilapidated facilities, Tenorio said.

The board president said he has heard positive things from the community regarding the bond, especially from parents of the district's students.

"I think people have given us positive feedback on the bond," he said. "They know how fast we are growing, and they want a good school for their kids."

The full list of items being considered for the possible May 10 bond can be found on the district's website.