Author Topic: Nederland school district rescinds bond election  (Read 839 times)

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Nederland school district rescinds bond election
« on: September 30, 2008, 07:18:01 AM »
Nederland school district rescinds bond election
September, 29, 2008

After a closed session Monday, the Nederland school district board of trustees voted to rescind the $126,087,200 bond election indefinitely.

The bond election originally had been called in August by the board with a Nov. 4 election date, asking district patrons to approve the amount as one general proposition -- but Hurricane Ike changed everything.

"I sadly feel that I have to make a motion," trustee Everett Sanderson said before reading his motion when the board resumed its open session.

"The recent devastation of Hurricane Ike has created a level of unanticipated uncertainty regarding the school district's projected average daily attendance, tax base and facilities needs."

Sanderson's motion went on to include a "prudent and careful review of these factors before embarking upon final plans for a comprehensive capital improvements bond election." The move was in the best interest of the students, faculty, staff and taxpayers of the district.

School district attorney Tanner Hunt said that the district has not decided upon a new date for the bond election at this time and are held to obligations of the law as to when they can call for it.

"A school district can only hold a bond election in November or May," Hunt said. "The next possible date would be May, but no discussion has been made regarding that at this time."

The election in November was to finance three new elementary campuses, a new alternative education center, new C.O. Wilson Middle School, field turf and a new press box at Bulldog Stadium; upgrades to Central Middle School; restoration of Nederland High School; and an additional land purchase.

In other business, the board tabled a motion to enter into an agreement with LanWalton Program Management regarding work which would have been done under the bond election.

"We will work on an interim agreement together," Hunt said.

Ronald Cessac, board president, asked LanWalton representatives at the meeting if they had ever had this happen before due to a natural disaster. Director Paul Hawryluk said that this was a first for LanWalton, but that they were not worried about it.

"We understand where the board is coming from," Hawryluk said. "We'll work with you however you want to work with us."

Waiting on a bond election also probably is in the best interest of the district, with the time and cost for materials since the devastation in areas of Houston and Galveston drawing national attention.

"Maintenance director Ronnie Trahan said that he had made calls regarding some repairs for windows broken during the storm and was told that the district may need to wait half a year or more.

"The demand (for building materials) is up right now," Trahan said "I was told that we could be looking at six to eight months for something that would normally take six to eight weeks.

"And right now, with everyone dealing with devastation, an election that would raise taxes is not something that they want to see right now."
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