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Crosby ISD reviews land, bond while refinancing

CROSBY – Nov. 19 the newly elected members of the Crosby ISD Board and returning members quickly reorganized to make John Lindsey President, Dan Kasprzak Vice President, Carla Mills-Windfont Secretary and JoAnn Crawford Assistant Secretary. The addition of Dr. James Hofmann Single Member District 7 and David Porter for Single Member District 5 as Trustees was accomplished after votes were canvased.

One of the greatest accomplishments a school board can make came into being last year when the board refinanced part of their last bond and saved 26%, now they have moved to refinance the rest of the outstanding sinking debt to (depending on how the market swings) save about $3 Million for the district. The bond refunding plan (begun by JoAnn Crawford) passed 7 to 0. It adopted an order authorizing the issuance of refunding bonds, establishing parameters for the refunding and delegating authority to the Superintendant.

The board promptly moved to begin consideration of buying 70 acres of land out of a 264 acre tract in the Humphrey Jackson League on the West side of FM 2100. They also approved related items. An expression, “fixing to get ready,” applies here – they did not approve buying the land, but to being looking at buying the land. They cleared the process to put a contract on the land to be purchased and due diligence will begin to examine the land soon. This began the 90 day opt out period. A company was hired by the board to examine land purchases. This land is being contracted to possibly be aquired for the districts future needs no matter what decision will be made about a high school bond or other decisions.

A finance expert discussed with the board the implications for proceeding with the bond now when interest rates are at their historic lowest. His report detailed the fiscal stability of the district to move to borrow the money at current rates and the historic stability and efficiency of the Crosby district related to funding schools.

Dr. Moore explained that obtasining this land will be helpful to the district in the future no matter what decision it makes on the current bond question that at this time is being reviewed by a Citizen’s Advisory Committee. The land adjacent to the current high school would be useful in the future no matter what decision is made for future schools.

The market was currently called “The Bond Buyers Index is now extraordinary favorable.”

The refinancing at a record low for the district will bring the district into a new low rate of 1.6% The district is currently at a financially strong position at the standard of having a ratio of tax base over student population because currently the district enjoys a 20% financing by the State of Texas.

The board accepted donations from various entities to finance school activities and goals. The Delta Sigma sorority donated $3500 to the district to help students with special needs. Wal-Mart donated $50 gift cards to twenty different classrooms to be used for educational supplies. A 1924 Cornerstone discovered inside a warehouse of the district was devaluated of resale capability and will donated to the Crosby Historical Society for the commemoration of a building that has served as a high school and middle school.

Again related to “fixing to get ready” the board allowed for possible re-imbursement of the general fund for capital outlay occurring prior to potential future bond financings. They are getting ready to spend money, if they borrow it to build something.

As the Citizen’s Advisory Committee continues to weigh options for the district and tour the schools to view potential needs and opportunities the historic slow rate of growth for the district may come upon changes related to development in the next few years. The questions of how much new development and how soon will make the district that is currently in a comfortable but tight student to classroom size to a potential situation in which there are too many students for the schools to house.

Dr. Hofmann on his debut on the board indicated that when he was on the Citizen’s Advisory Board the board took their suggestions and went a totally different way.