Graham ISD proposed 2017 tax rate unchanged

The Graham Independent School District’s total tax rate – the sum of the maintenance and operations rate (M&O) plus the interest and sinking rate (I&S) – is unchanged from last year’s rate.
Last year’s total tax rate of $1.347 per $100 valuation will remain the same in the coming budget year for GISD. This was decided at the Aug. 10 school board meeting. GISD’s fiscal year starts Sept. 1.
A public meeting to discuss the 2017 budget and tax rate was set for 8:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29 at the GISD Administration Office Building, 400 Third St.
Budget expenditures have increased $51,000, according to Don Davis, GISD director of finance and assistant superintendent, while revenue is estimated to increase $200,000.
One estimated higher cost for GISD is water bills, which have increased since the city of Graham recently installed new water meters.
Base water bills for the school used to be $4,000 to $5,000 annually, but will be increasing to an estimated annual cost of $45,000, Davis said. Water usage costs, which are for sewer and actual water used, will increase to $88,000, making an estimated $133,000 increase in total water charges for the district in the new fiscal year.
“We won’t know our usage until we get the bill that goes from Sept. 15 until Oct. 16, because that will be our first whole month of school that we flushed toilets, drank water, and we are in full action,” said Sonny Cruse, GISD superintendent.
Options
He said the district should, in the future, plan to drill wells by Graham Junior High to water game fields. Cruse said the district is going to calculate possible savings that could exist by having water service on only in months when needed.
“There are a number of our meters that we use to water and we use to keep our outside grass alive for some of our schools that – let’s say October, November, when we are going into some wet months – when really don’t use those systems,” he said. “There is a $15 reconnect fee and we would be better off in our case to cut a bunch of meters off we don’t need and then cut them back on when we need them in the spring.”

For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of Saturday's Graham Leader, or subscribe to our online edition.

The Graham Leader

GRAHAM OFFICE
620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589