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Union Grove voters to decide
 fate of school bond proposals Recommendations made by community committeee developed over past 30 months

From Staff Reports
Oct. 17, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Union Grove ISD taxpayers will decide whether to increase taxes and approve a bond election Nov. 2. The district's superintendent, however, won't share the taxpayers' burden.

The school board called the November bond election, asking voters to consider an $8.5 million proposition for academic purposes, including classroom wings at both schools, and a $5.1 million proposition to build a high school auditorium.

The bonds to build the auditorium will be sold only if the first proposition passes as well.

The debt-service tax rate is 12.27 cents per $100 in taxable value. Proposition 1 passage for the $8.5 million additions would increase the debt service tax rate by 14.07 cents, or a $124.84 increase on the an average property owner's annual tax bill, according to Superintendent Brian Gray.

If both proposals pass, the debt-service tax rate increase would be 31.16 cents per $100 in taxable value, or a $276.48 increase to an average property owner's annual tax bill, Gray said.

The first proposition calls for building eight classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab and a food service/cafetorium at the elementary school, and building three new career technology classrooms, additional dressing and locker room facilities, remodeling special education rooms and building a multi-use Lion's Den center at the secondary campus.

The second proposition is for a 900-seat auditorium,Gray said.

A committee of 35 people met for the past 2-1⁄2 years to study Union Grove's facilities and prepared the bond proposal to benefit students in prekindergarten through 12th grades, Gray said.

With low interest rates and construction costs, Gray said it's the optimum time for a building project.

Some district residents have attempted to make Gray's residency an issue in the election. He lives outside the district and any tax increase caused by the bonds will not affect him personally.

He said the issue should not be where he lives but what is in the best interest of the district's students. Superintendents are not required to live within the district they serve.

"My concern, and I would like to think the concern of taxpayers, is what would best benefit the students of Union Grove - regardless of where people live," Gray said. "I would hate for where I live to be an issue to sway a voter's opinion."



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