Jefferson ISD Moves Forward With Construction Project, Refunds Property Taxes

By BOB PALMER,
Jimplecute Editor

Jefferson ISD trustees approved plans Tuesday for the construction of eight new classrooms on the Elementary campus, pending final estimates.

Board Chairman Jason Bonner was concerned about the window sizes in the rooms. “If fire in hallway, how can the kids get out?” Bonner asked architect Dan Bartlett. The windows were drawn in at two feet but would only be one foot and eight inches wide after the trim was installed.

The proposed building will also include boys and girls bathrooms. “We’ve had our input,” Trustee Leah Cooper said, suggesting the board approve the project and let staff work out any remaining details. The board agreed. Marion County Tax Assessor Karen Jones informed the board they must refund $23,871 in property taxes to one business and $3,000 to another follow an order from the Texas Supreme Court.

The refund dealt with a property tax dispute involving heavy equipment temporarily in one county with the company’s headquarters in another county. The high court ruled the taxes go to the company’s home county.

While the refund hurt, Jones advised the board they could seek additional money from the state because of lower property values on the tax roll. JISD Business Manager Mike Wood received two gold stars in his attendance book.

The annual audit by Knuckols, Duvall, Hallum & Co. issued a “clean opinion” for the district for the past physical year. The district also received a 100 percent rating in the School First appraisal by the Texas Education Agency.

The audit showed JISD received $1.8 million in federal funds and a $304,000 growth in revenue. “That’s good,” Mike Callum said. “You had a very, very good year,” Callum concluded. The board also approved the contract to sell surplus property in the Smithland area to EMC Water Supply.

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