Angleton heart

One of the iconic hearts placed near downtown Angleton is shown Saturday.

ANGLETON — District leaders won’t be sitting on the projects voters approved in last month’s bond issue, but students soon will be.

Angleton ISD trustees this week approved moving forward with $3.61 million in furniture purchases for students in second through eighth grade across the school district. The purchase was part of the $196.25 million bond program voters overwhelmingly approved on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The new furniture will provide equity across the lower campuses and better support small group, individual and large group learning activities, according to bond materials.

“I’m really excited about this, the whole school having new furniture for the kids,” Trustee Dana Tolbert said during Tuesday’s meeting. “Some of the furniture really looks bad. You start seeing the new and then you compare it to the old, it’s time.”

Principals at each campus talked to teachers and staff to put together lists of what items they would like to see purchased to better facilitate learning, and those ideas were incorporated into the district’s purchase.

Also approved for purchase will be two new police patrol vehicles. The 2023 Ford Explorers completely outfitted for Angleton ISD Police Department use will cost the district $120,105.

“The goal is to get five new cars into the district,” Superintendent Phil Edwards said. “What we’re proposing right now for the board is that these two cars will be paid for out of the additional safety and security budget that the board allocated last summer, and then what we expect to do once the bonds are sold we’ll come back to you in March for the additional three vehicles that would be paid for out of the 2022 bond money at that time.”

The district has not yet issued any bonds from the Nov. 8 program, but the board agreed to move ahead with some purchases using money on hand and reimburse itself once bonds are sold. They will be sold in phases, Edwards said.

“It is estimated that somewhere between $90 million to $100 million in bonds will be sold initially. We expect these bonds to last us a good two to two and a half years in expenditures before we would have to go and sell the next round of bonds,” Edwards said. “Interest rates are high right now and there’s some investment opportunities, but if we sell that $100 million, we may be able to take part of that and stick it in an investment account while we’re waiting for it to be used and get paid some interest on that.”

The total bond also includes a new elementary, a second junior high, $18.25 million for safety and security enhancements, $12 million for improvements at the existing elementary and junior high campuses and funding to demolish obsolete buildings.

One security enhancement the district is considering a new camera system for in school buses.

“We’re considering adding cameras outside the buses depending on what that would be,” Edwards said. “Sometimes cameras are put on the stop signs of buses. I don’t know if that can lead to citations or not, but that’s part of the consideration we’re talking about as well.”

In other business, public hearings took place on tax break requests by a half-dozen solar energy companies.

Cradle Solar, Cascade Solar, Brazoria Solar I and II, Rock N Roll Solar and Austin Bayou Solar all came before the board asking for tax limitation agreements, which would limit their taxable values. In exchange, the companies make supplemental payments to the district based on a percentage of their net tax savings.

The district approved all six agreements, which will run for 10 years.

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