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Eagle Ford boosts tax roll
This is an artist’s rendering of the front of the
new Falls City ISD school building.
FALLS CITY --Preliminary data indicates that continued oil and natural gas exploration and production in the Eagle Ford shale could send the Falls City Independent School District’s (ISD) tax roll skyrocketing to $981 million this year. This is up from approximately $737 million in the 2013 tax year, said Superintendent Tylor Chaplin following the June 18 board of trustees meeting.
While the near $1 billion tax roll is estimated to bring $11 million in tax revenue for Falls City ISD, Chaplin said the district only will see roughly $7 million, as the remainder will be sent back to the state in a process known as “recapture.” The district, like three others based in Karnes County, falls under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code. (See “Falls City ISD OKs Chapter 41 options,” Nov. 13, 2013.)
Continued oil and gas related activity accounts for approximately 86 percent of all tax dollars paid to Falls City ISD, Chaplin said. Fortunately, recapture cannot touch tax revenue collected for interest and sinking -- debt service -- which will repay $30 million in bonds being used to finance a massive capital improvement project. Included are a new kindergarten through 12th-grade building and athletic fields.
The bonds being used to finance the project likely will be sold in late July to early August. The board voted that Raymond James, Frost Bank, and Stifel would underwrite the bonds.
Groundbreaking for the new facility is set for Oct. 13 and the building is expected to be completed by December 2015, allowing for students to begin attending class there the following January.
Also during the meeting, the board approved floorplans for the first and second floors of the new building, which will be constructed across the street from the district’s current facility. Chaplin said the structure will be built into the existing slope, allowing entry to both levels from the exterior, with only the upper floor -- which will house students currently attending the Luther Thomas Elementary School -- being visible from F.M. 791. High school students will utilize the lower floor.
The design will aid in the building’s energy efficiency, Chaplin said, as the sunny side will be below grade.
With regard to who will build the new school, proposals will be opened and read aloud Wednesday, June 25, at 10 a.m. The proposals then will be reviewed and scored by a committee, who at the board’s special meeting set for 7 p.m. that day, will recommend a firm to which the contract should be awarded.
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Section A: General News Archives
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