City Council approves resolution of support for Bond
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 by Matthew Girard
The Belton City Council unanimously approved a resolution of support for the Belton Independent School District's upcoming bond election during Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting at the Harris Community Center.
BISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon presented the council with an overview of the bond election, which would authorize a total of $60 million for the construction of two elementary schools and one middle school to keep up with the district's continued growth.
Kincannon said projections have indicated that the number of students being served by BISD will be more than 13,000 by 2020.
"Over the last five years, we grew by 19.1 percent," Kincannon said. "We are a large school district, the largest in Bell County, we have a vast amount of property and that's why we continue to grow."
With the passing of the bond the new construction will help alleviate the dependence on portable classrooms, some of which are 30 years old.
With the passing of the 2012 bond, Kincannon said the district wouldn't need another bond election until 2018.
"We wouldn't need to come back to the voters until 2018 for any new facilities," Kincannon said. "We've had to have bond elections every two or three years to keep up with the growth of the school district. This plan allows us to take out some of the old portables and will carry us a little bit further until that next bond election."
Council member Craig Pearson congratulated Kincannon on her and the BISD Board of Trustees work in preparing for the future.
"Everything that I've seen gives the indication that you are squeezing every penny and doing the very best that you can to keep the tax rate down while meeting the needs of the kids," Pearson said. "The growth is here and that's just a fact."
The council also authorized City Manager Sam Listi to execute a contract for construction of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project in the Miller Heights Elementary School area.
"We've been working on this project for a number of years now," Listi said.
The project, which is mostly funded through a state grant, will improve sidewalks in the area where children walk to school.
"It's almost two miles of sidewalk in the Miller Heights area of five and six feet sidewalks," Listi said. "It will really change the character and enhance pedestrian access and safety."
In other business, Mayor Jim Covington read a proclamation in honor of Belton recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. The council also approved a resolution declaring that the updated population of Belton as of Jan. 1 as 18,665.