TISD Makes Move Toward Second Bond Election - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


TISD Makes Move Toward Second Bond Election

TISD is now preparing for a bond election, possibly as soon as this November.  That's the same month that Smith County had been tentatively looking to have its jail bond election.  If that happened, would some citizens decide they have to choose one over the other?  KLTV 7 News found out what that could mean for Tyler and Smith County taxpayers.

"I would hate that both issues end up at the same time and it shouldn't be an either or for the community," said Martin Heines.  He is part of a citizens group that has been trying to help the county with the jail project.

After a failed bond election last May, Commissioners and the citizens group were hoping for another bond election this November.   "We have a large issue with county buildings and county infrastructure," said Heines.

Now, the school board could put a bond before voters that same month.  "The state will not allow bond issues except in November and May, so that's the two dates right now that we're probably looking at," said TISD interim superintendent Gary Mooring.

In 2004 TISD hired a firm, the Staubach Company, to develop a plan for making improvements to schools.  The 12-year plan included four phases.  The first phase of the project involved elementary schools that were in bad shape.  The second phase was for other elementary schools in need of repairs.  The third phase is for middle schools. The fourth for high schools.

With the first phase slated to be finished in 2008, the school board is now looking at a bond for the second phase.  Mooring says TISD will be seeking the public's input.  "It will not be Tyler ISD telling the community when they want a bond election. It will be the community telling Tyler ISD and the board through our soliciting input from them over the next few weeks or months," said Mooring.

He stresses that will play a key role in when the bond is presented.   The cost of both projects is still to be determined. The first phase of the school bond package was nearly $96 million. The estimated cost of the downtown jail location was $83 million.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com


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