Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Capital Needs Planning Committee Presents Formal Recommendation to the Board of Trustees

After months of work evaluating the facilities of the district, the Capital Needs Planning Committee presented its formal presentation and Recommended Project list to the Board of Trustees at the board meeting on Monday, June 6.

Todd Carlton, who co-chaired the committee with Annie Zvonecek, gave an overview on the findings on behalf of the nearly 40 citizens who served on the committee over the last 9 months.

Before the CNPC gave their formal recommendation, the Board of Trustees honored three UIL state track qualifiers, Reed Brown, Alison Esparza and Maydsen Hunter. Brown was the Class 6A state champion in the 3,200 meters, and the state runner-up in the 1,600 meters, while Alison placed 6th in the 3,200 meters. Hunter finished fourth in the 300 hurdles.

The CNPC pointed out many items on their Recommended Project lists are maintenance-related to protect district assets and ensure safety for students. The committee recommended that CISD utilize all available revenue sources to fund projects as soon as practical based on the district’s financial realities. The CNPC supports having smaller elementary campuses of 550, which involves implementing a 6th elementary if financially feasible long-term. If funding isn’t available short-term for a 6th elementary school, the CNPC recommended building additions on K-4 campuses more immediately, or grade reconfiguration.

The full CNPC project list will likely require multiple bond elections over a 10-year period, however the committee is not recommending that all projects be done at once. The capacity for a potential bond election is about $175 million without needing an increase in local tax rate, however the current project list exceeds that amount. 1 cent on tax rate generates about $25 million for projects and requires voter approval. The Board of Trustees accepted the Capital Needs Planning Committee’s Recommendation for further study before taking future actions on actual project lists.

The board meeting continued as the Trustees appointed Michelle Moore to serve as the delegate to the Texas Association of School Board delegate assembly, with Trustee Sheri Mills as an alternate. Trustee Matt Kormann submitted his resignation due to his family relocating out of state. Kormann served for three years on the Board of Trustees, and was recently re-elected to Place 6. The Board is accepting applications for Place 6 with a noon deadline on June 20. The chosen candidate will serve one year until the May 2017 election.

The trustees approved a three-year exclusive agreement with EECU, contingent on approval of a Dragon Credit Card affinity program by July 1. The agreement with EECU does not keep other banks from supporting and advertising with Carroll, but EECU’s exclusivity is for the Dragon logo on products. The Trustees will consider the affinity agreement for the June 20 meeting, and if approved, the sponsorship is worth $40,300 over a three-year period, including a give-back program. If  the Dragon card affinity program is approved, local staff and families could support the program to raise funds for the CISD operating budget.

The Carroll School Board approved one Special Education position for the 2016-2017 school year as presented by Dr. Mary Johnston. The Board also a heard presentation on School Health and Related Services program. The study could earn CISD $330,600 over next three years. The Trustees heard a HB5 Community and Student Engagement Performance Report for 2015-2016, which requires an evaluation of 9 factors.

The Board heard a request by intermediate principals for one additional counselor at each intermediate campus, which is based on high student:counselor ratio and the increasing duties of counselors. Because of one current re-purposed counseling position, the net cost to CISD budget expected to be $74,215.

After a presentation from Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Matt Miller, the School Board approved the purchase of two suburbans and two work trucks for $136,069 out of fuel savings in existing CISD budget.

The Trustees also approved the Federal Lighting Illumination Capital for retrofit of LED lighting project at Rockenbaugh Elementary, with an amount not to exceed $134,000.

Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Scott Wrehe gave the Trustees a look at the preliminary 2016-2017 budget, which improved significantly due to increasing property values. The values are still under protest and could go down slightly. Student enrollment is up, but the finance formula causes deficit projection for 2017-2018. Wrehe described the updated CISD budget outlook as good news-bad news scenario, due to an expected Chapter 41 payment increase the following year.  The budget outlook is preliminary and does not yet consider a proposed salary increase for staff. The Projected surplus is $500,000+.

The Board of Trustees will meet again on Monday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carroll ISD Administration Center.