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Belton ISD puts $174 million bond on the ballot

Posted at 7:45 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 20:45:23-05

The population of Belton is projected to increase by the thousands over the next decade. More people means more families and more kids in schools.

Now, the school district is trying to keep up.

Addressing the district's growth and aging buildings is the main motivation behind the Belton ISD board of trustees unanimously pushing forward a $174 million dollar bond.

BISD Superintendent Matt Smith says community members and the director worked together to narrow down the cost and zone in on what issues need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Smith said, "We had a community process where we invited over 70 members of our community to engage in a planning process to get us to this point. We've spent over 20 hours with that committee over the fall touring facilities, we had an outside organization come in and assess all of our facilities, and look at where we're going to need to invest things for the future. By doing that, going through a process with the community, they gave me a rank-ordered list of priorities for this bond election."

Proposition A will cost a little over $168,825,00 and will address: elementary #12 and #13, Delta Program facility, expansion of Southwest Elementary, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roofing and interior finishes, Campus safety and security updates, career, technical education and fine arts additions at Belton High School and Belton New Tech High at Waskow, land acquisition for future schools and facilities, expansion of the fine arts facilities at Lake Belton Middle School, technology infrastructure upgrades, new buses, and expansion of the district agriculture facility.

While Proposition B will cost $5,000,000 and would upgrade technology for students, and staff.

"We want to be conservative with our current situation really address growth, aging facilities as our needs, but we also want to make sure that we're living within that bond capacity that we have right now," said Smith.

Some Belton residents tell 25 News they are concerned about the $174 million price tag.

Smith says because of increased property values and Belton expanding population growth, this bond will not raise the current INS tax rate.

"I understand that we're talking big dollar amounts. But the best news about all of this is because of our growth. And because of thoughtful financial management by current board, past boards, past administrators, we're able to do this without raising the INS tax rate right now and that is something that's really important," Smith said.

Belton residents can make their voices heard on the bond during early voting starting on April 25 or on election day, May 7.