SALADO, TEXAS — Salado ISD Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district has made the decision to annex its schools into city limits, a plan that's been talked about for more than eight years.
"We just took action last Thursday by filing the petition to voluntarily annex ourselves," Novotny said. "It would save the school district and the taxpayers here some money. Using their wastewater treatment plant system would be less expensive than our own septic system and our own wastewater treatment plant systems."
By hooking up to the Village of Salado's plant, Novotny said the district will save about $15,000 a year.
"That will allow us to use more of that money in the classrooms," Novotny said.
The majority of the district sits on Thomas Arnold near the intersection of West Village. West Village is the boundary line between the Village of Salado and Salado ISD.
The annexation would move the boundary line back so that all the schools would be within city limits. That includes Thomas Arnold Elementary, Salado Intermediate School, and Salado Junior High. Salado High School on Williams Road will also be affected.
"The Village of Salado is only 2.7 square miles. Our school district is 133 square miles, so our school district is 50 times larger geographically," Novotny said.
Village Administrator Don Ferguson said they're looking forward to making the district part of the city.
"They've been good neighbors. It only makes sense," said Village Administrator Don Ferguson. "It's a school district that serves a large part of this area."
Right now, the school is protected by the Bell County Sheriff's Department. Once the annexation is finalized, Salado police will take over.
"We're talking about a partnership with the school district about putting officers in schools and having student resource officers in place," Ferguson said. "I think they're going to see a lot more visibility and presence from the village in their environment."
"We have a great relationship with the Village and this is just going to strengthen that," Novotny said. "It's going to save money and increase safety."
Ferguson said no commercial properties will be affected, just the schools.
"It's a voluntary annexation, which means the property owner must petition the Village the come in," Ferguson said.
Novotny said since they're a school district, they're also exempt from any taxes associated with the move.
"They've waived a couple of the fees that could be assessed to us in terms of building permit fees and connection fees for the sewer, so really I don't know of any downside that we'd have with this," Novotny said.
The Village of Salado will hold a few public hearings over the next 90 days. If all goes as planned, the annexation will happen at the end of May.
The school resource officer will be added next year.