Multi-million dollar bond proposals up for a vote

Joseph Brown, The Huntsville Item, Texas
·2 min read

May 1—It's Election Day in Huntsville.

Nearly 2,400 ballots were cast during early voting ahead of the Huntsville ISD school bond election, according to the Walker County elections office.

May elections during odd numbered years historically have very low turnout. However, early votes on the issuance of $127 million in school construction bonds narrowly eclipsed the district's 2013 total — the last time a bond was presented to voters.

The 2,393 votes cast during early voting represents just under 8% of the registered voters residing in the Huntsville Independent School District.

A total of 4,357 votes were cast in that 2013 election, representing a 17.03% voter turnout.

The Huntsville ISD election contains two propositions.

Proposition A will generate $92 million for renovations and upgrades to every elementary school campus and Mance Park Middle School. It will also transform the current intermediate school into an elementary school campus. The top proposition also allows for the construction of a new fine arts auditorium and a baseball/ softball complex on the high school campus.

The key point to Proposition A is a district-wide grade realignment, which will transform the four elementary school campuses to house pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, and transition sixth grade students to the proposed expansion at Mance Park Middle School.

Proposition B would allow the district to Issue bonds totaling $35 million to build a 7,000 seat multi-purpose varsity level stadium around Hornet Field, a new field house and a relocated tennis complex.

Huntsville ISD is one of only two districts in Texas to not have a district-owned stadium.

If both propositions are approved by voters it would result in a 9.94 cent per $100 valuation increase to local property tax bills. Huntsville ISD currently has the next to lowest school property tax rate in Region 6, which consists of 57 large and small school districts across Southeast Texas. The maximum tax increase would amount to nearly a $175 annual increase in tax bills for those with a home valued at $200,000.

WHERE TO VOTE

Voters within the Huntsville ISD boundaries can cast a ballot at one of five locations today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling places include the Walker County Fairgrounds, the Walker County Storm Shelter, University Heights Baptist Church, the Huntsville ISD Transportation Building and the Walker County Annex.

Results from the election will be available at itemonline.com.