AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin ISD school board postponed their vote Monday night on calling a bond election for November.
Instead, they approved a list of 40 bond projects totaling $990 million, and will vote on the election next week. The only trustee who voted against the measure was Dr. Ted Gordon.
Everyone else stood their ground on keeping the bond under $1 billion despite motions by Gordon to add additional projects including a new middle school for Mueller.
“We’ve got some tough decisions to make,” said Trustee Trustee Cindy Anderson. “But in the eleventh hour trying to add things and raise the tax rate — I’m not comfortable with that.”
The school board also adopted a $1.4 billion budget in a 7-0 vote with two abstentions. The budget also includes a 1.5 percent raise for part-time and full-time staff members at a cost of $8.55 million.
Also on the agenda was executing the sale of two tracts of district-owned land to RSI Communities for a total of $11.8 million worth of AISD land. The board passed the land deal Monday evening.
“We have to be good stewards of all of our assets,” said Pace. “If we have properties that are being underutilized or not used there are better ways to use the funds from that to fund our projects and not just go for a bond.”
The developer has agreed to buy 32 acres on the southeast corner of Loyola Lane and Ed Bluestein Boulevard for $7.2 million, and also purchase 12 acres south of East 51st Street known as the Service Center Land for $4.6 million.
According to AISD, RSI Communities plans to develop single-family housing, and has agreed to make sure 25 percent of the units meet the affordable housing criteria. Those units will also be marketed to AISD employees and families first, before the general public.