If approved, bonds hinge on state funding

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

The 2007 Orange Grove ISD Bond Improvement Plan is on the November ballot.

The total cost of the project is $6,813,730, with the bond amount at $6,560,000, and the district contribution at $251,325.

Early voting for the local bond election, which is taking place at a different location than the state's Constitutional Amendment election, will run through Nov. 2 at the Orange Grove ISD Administration Office from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Election Day voting on Nov. 6 will be with the county at the Special Programs Building from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

OGISD received a notice from the justice department last week that early voting can be held separately from the county this year, but election day activities would have to be in conjunction with the Constitutional Amendment election, hence the change in location for Nov. 6 to the Special Programs Building.

There will be no election day voting at Orange Grove High School or the Sandia Community Center as previously planned.

To pay for the project, the district is seeking an Instructional Facilities Allotment grant from the state, which will cover a majority of the bond, if approved.

The bond amount, with the IFA funding, would add an additional $0.0656 to the local tax rate.

Superintendent Earl Luce has said that without the additional funding from the IFA, the tax rate would go up to $0.3122, which he said, would be unacceptable for local taxpayers.

If the bond is approved, but the district does not receive IFA funding next summer, the bonds will not be sold.

The preliminary plans include more than 12,000 square feet in new classroom construction, science support construction and renovation on the north end of Orange Grove High School.

There is also a planned 2,250-square foot expansion of the junior high cafeteria.

Four additional classrooms at OGJH and a corridor for 7,010 square foot of construction are also planned.

In addition, there are:

A total re-roofing of the junior high campus at $710,888. A primary school expansion of eight classrooms at 9,070 square feet for $1,451,200. An expansion of the Intermediate School library at $210,000. A re-roofing of the old primary building at $97,092, as well as the re-roofing of the maintenance, transportation and field house at $74,064.

As far as the cost to the taxpayers of OGISD, when considering the average taxable value of a home, for those priced at say $35,500, with the $0.0656 tax rate per $100 valuation, the total for the taxpayer would be an additional $23.28 per year. For a home valued at $50,000, the tax to the resident would be $32.80 per year for the bond issue.

For those whose home has a taxable value of $100,000, the cost to taxpayers will be $65.60 per year.