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Approval of DSISD bond stands after recount

A recount in Dripping Springs ISD’s (DSISD) $132 million bond referendum showed its initial approval will stand, according to results released earlier this week.

DSISD’s bond was initially approved in a slim 31 vote margin at the May 5 election, indicating a community heavily split on the bond’s intent to help accommodate a growing school district.

According to the recount results, 1,676 votes were cast for the bond and 1,637 against the proposition, separating the approval by 37 votes.

The Citizens for Excellent Education in Dripping Springs (CEEDS), an organization against the bond, filed the recount on May 12.

“This process confirmed the accuracy of the election outcome, with the bond being approved,” said Dale Whitaker, executive director of communications at DSISD. “The district sincerely appreciates the individuals who gave their time to assist with the recount process.”

A six-member committee completed the recount process, with observers present representing CEEDS and DSISD, Whitaker said. In line with state guidelines, DSISD Board of Trustees President Carrie Kroll was designated as the recount supervisor.

The $132 million bond included a new facility for Walnut Springs Elementary, along with construction of a fifth DSISD elementary campus. Other items include additions to Dripping Spring High that would allow for an increase to 2,500 students, as well as renovating the current WSE facility into the district’s new administration building.

The bond came to fruition after the district’s projections showed the population of the campuses to double within the next decade.

However, opponents of the bond were skeptical of its intent, citing inevitable tax increases with its passage.

DSISD has stood by its position that he bond would not increase the property tax of $1.52 per $100 evaluation.

“Results on election day affirmed that the community was evenly divided on the bond, despite the district and the pro-bond PAC [Political Action Committee] spending thousands of dollars in advertising and promoting the bond,” said Valerie McConahay, assistant treasurer for the CEEDS. “One thing is for certain: our community is ready for change.”

Bruce Gearing, DSISD superintendent, said some of the smaller projects will likely start summer 2018. The high school expansion and renovation of Walnut Springs Elementary are expected to be completed by Fall 2020 and Fall 2021, respectively.

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