By LIBBY CLUETT
PALO PINTO – With the May 11 election approaching, there's more than just seats on councils and school boards to consider.
Palo Pinto ISD will ask taxpayers to approve a $3 million bond, which is estimated to increase the tax rate 4 cents per $100 valuation. The bond would add interest-and-sinking revenues for security updates, renovation, modernization and a new cafetorium. The bonds will also address Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Since the Robin Hood Recapture program does not apply to Texas schools' interest-and-sinking tax rates, all taxes levied to pay off PPISD's debt service remain in the district.
PPISD Supt. Eric Cederstrom said that trustees spent much of the last year assessing the condition of the district's sole school building. He said they voted unanimously to hold a bond election, intending to present the lowest possible tax rate that would address the needs of the building to voters.
If approved, the district plans to use the funds to: • Update and install security and safety access to the building and interior rooms, including a new, secured entrance and the ability to lock down instantly.
• Build a new cafeteria/auditorium, which will be built on the west side of the building. The current cafeteria and kitchen will become additional instructional space, including a science lab and/or art room.
• Renovate to modernize the 1961 portion of the school building, including classrooms and science lab. This portion has seen minor renovations, but retains the 1961 windows, doors, plumbing and electricity.
• Modernize the gymnasium – flooring, lighting, storage, windows, doors and security.
• Relocate the transportation shed and school buses.
“As we looked at facilities, areas of concern became more apparent,” Cederstrom said, adding that pipes bursting in August accelerated the timeline.
All voting takes place at the school, located at 821 Oak Street in Palo Pinto. Early voting for the May 11 election begins April 29. The schedule is as follows:
• April 29 – 8 a.m.-7 p.m. in the PPISD Administration Office.
• April 30-May 7 (weekdays only) – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the PPISD Administration Office.
• May 11 – 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in the Palo Pinto School Library.