New budget approved
The proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year was approved unanimously by the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees Wednesday night.

The budget funds the district’s programs and initiatives and provides a salary structure for staff.

Total expenditures: $179,755,406

Local revenue: $171,833,503
State revenue: $8,941,903
Federal revenue: $980,000

Total Revenues: $181,755,406

The projected ending fund balance is $34 million.

Tax rate won’t change, taxable property value increased
The 2018 tax rate was also approved at $1.4075 per $100 taxable value. The rate has not changed for the seventh year in a row.

The projected taxable property value for LTISD increased 11.59 percent.

The increase in value will allow the district to redeem an additional $3.5 million in outstanding obligations. By aggressively paying down the district’s debt service requirements, residents are saved the price of interest and capacity for future bond programs can be built, said Johnny Hill, assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services.

Including the upcoming defeasance, the district will have early retired about $52.8 million and refinanced $192.1 million since 2013, saving taxpayers about $59.3 million of interest over the life of the outstanding bonds, district documents said.

New Elementary School on track for end-of-year construction start
Progress continues on the Elementary School No. 7 project with board approval of awarding construction manager at-risk services to Bartlett Cocke General Contractors.

When using the construction manager at-risk delivery method for a construction project, the district is required to use a request for proposals or qualifications process that involves ranking the proposals, a staff report said.

Bartlett Cocke was chosen after a qualifications process that consisted of a series of applications and interviews.

Funding for the project will come from the 2018 bond program and total $26.3 million.

Bartlett Cocke worked with the district on West Cypress Hills and Lake Travis Middle School. Robert Winovitch, director of facilities and construction, said the firm did “an outstanding job” and that staff is looking forward to working with them again.

The project is expected to break ground in December or January.

“We’re working on permitting with the city of Lakeway now,” Winovitch said. “We’re going back and forth on some landscaping items and the height of the roof, but I don’t foresee any major issues.”

The new school will be located in the Rough Hollow subdivision off Bee Creek Road, east of Lake Travis Middle School. It is expected to be complete by August 2020.

More comprehensive allergy management plan
The district is required by the state to develop and implement a plan for the care of students with diagnosed food allergies who are at risk for anaphylaxis.

While a food allergy management plan has been in place for several years, beginning this year additional measures will be implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to common food allergies, General Counsel Amber King said.

The new policy was subject to board review but did not need to be officially approved.

King said the new, more comprehensive plan has condensed all information into a more centralized document that can be used as a resource for teachers, staff and parents.

There is also a new, informational page on the district website for parents with questions about school food and nutrition.