MARLIN, Texas — For the first time in 24 years, voters in Marlin Independent School District will decide if a proposed bond should pass or not.
The district will have two propositions on the ballot in November totaling $32 million.
"The last time Marlin ISD passed a bond was in 1998, 24 years ago," said Superintendent Dr. Darryl Henson. "Understanding that that is two generations of K-12 come into our school system without a bond being passed."
Marlin ISD held its first bond information meeting Wednesday night in the Marlin High School auditorium. Through a presentation, Dr. Henson told voters what they need to know about what a school bond is and why the district's Long Range Facility Planning Committee made the recommendation to the district's school board. Henson also showed them what could be fixed with the help of the bond, like brown water, leaky ceilings and structural damage.
"It is our job to not only educate them, but just show them the specific need and why the district and community has called for a bond proposition," Henson explained.
"After today's information -- it sounds like a good idea," said Maria Gonzalez, a parent of three Marlin ISD students. "The city's growing and all the programs are growing, so it might be a good change for the district overall."
According to the district, there will be two proposition to the bond proposal.
Proposition A is valued at $24.5 million dollars. If passed, it would help fund the complete remodel and renovations of Marlin High School, as well as provide school safety and security upgrades at Marlin Elementary and Middle Schools.
"Safety security upgrades will include modernizing all interest in all three campuses as well as making sure that all exterior and interior doors have the appropriate locks as well as handles to keep the outsiders on the outside and to protect everyone inside our buildings," Dr. Henson added.
Proposition B is valued at $7.5 million. If passed, it would also help fund renovations and new construction at Legion Field. This would include, but not limited to, new turf, track, press box and scoreboard. It will also help renovate restrooms, concession stands, ticket booth and the parking lot, according to the district.
"I don't think we should let the $32 million scare us," Gonzalez said. "At the end of the day, it doesn't sound like it's a lot. If we all break it up, it's something that we just waste on a weekend that would be helping our community on the long run."
Dr. Henson told 6 News if the proposed bond were to pass in November, it would be a 47-cent tax increase on the debt service side.
"Understand that Marlin ISD currently does not have a debt tax rate," he said. "We have lowered the tax rate by 36 cents over the past six years."
If the proposed bond passes, a $100,000 home would be looking at around $23 per month more on their tax bill.
But for some parents, like Gonzalez, it's worth the investment as it's better education for their students.
"The district is showing they're doing something with their money and it's going in the right places, so we can only take the the risk and hope for the best," she said.
Marlin ISD plans to hold several more bond information meetings in the coming weeks. Dates will be announced at a later time.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 11.
Election day is Nov. 8.
Marlin ISD's Long Range Facility Planning Committee made the recommendation to the school board for a bond to be called on the November ballot. The committee consists of 25 community members, including our mayor, former school board members, and current district employees.