ACC district plan­ning Novem­ber bond vote

Ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion may carry price tag of $400 mil­lion or more. Of­fi­cials plan to es­tab­lish panel to gather com­mu­nity in­put to iden­tify needs.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz rhau­r­witz@states­man.com Con­tact Ralph K.M. Haurwitz at 445-3604.

Vot­ers in the Austin Com­mu­nity Col­lege tax­ing district are ex­pected to de­cide in Novem­ber whether to au­tho­rize bonds for ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion projects at the col­lege’s grow­ing net­work of cam­puses.

ACC trustees voted unan­i­mously Mon­day evening to work to­ward a Novem­ber bond elec­tion. They are ex­pected to for­mally call the elec­tion in Au­gust.

Of­fi­cials have not de­cided how much bond­ing author­ity to seek from vot­ers, said Alexis Pat­ter­son, an ACC spokes­woman. Sce­nar­ios rang­ing from $400 mil­lion to $600 mil­lion in doc­u­ments re­viewed by the Board of Trustees were “purely for dis­cus­sion pur­poses,” Pat­ter­son said.

Those sce­nar­ios showed the col­lege’s tax rate — cur­rently 9.51 cents per $100 of prop­erty value, count­ing both the debt com­po­nent and the op­er­a­tions com­po­nent — ris­ing to as much as 12.5 cents, 31 per­cent, by 2018, as­sum­ing a $600 mil­lion bond is­sue.

The owner of an av­er­age-value home in ACC’s tax­ing district cur­rently pays $214 a year in col­lege taxes. Fu­ture tax bills would de­pend on prop­erty val­ues, the amount of any bond is­sue and changes to the op­er­a­tions com­po­nent of the prop­erty tax.

ACC’s tax­ing district en­com­passes the city of Austin as well as the Austin, Le­an­der, Hays, El­gin, Round Rock, Del Valle and Manor school dis­tricts.

The col­lege last put a bond is­sue be­fore vot­ers in 2003. That $99 mil­lion pro­posal passed with 57 per­cent of the vote.

ACC of­fi­cials plan to es­tab­lish an ad­vi­sory panel that will work with cam­pus ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees to gather com­mu­nity in­put to iden­tify cap­i­tal im­prove­ment needs and rank their pri­or­ity.

With 40,198 stu­dents this fall, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary fig­ures, the col­lege is at ca­pac­ity, Pat­ter­son said.

Pos­si­ble projects for a bond package in­clude ex­pan­sion of re­cently built cam­puses at Round Rock, El­gin and Kyle. Other cam­puses, such as Rio Grande and River­side, could be in line for ren­o­va­tions, she said. The former High­land Mall prop­erty is also ex­pected to be in­cluded for devel­op­ment into class­room, of­fice and con­fer­ence spa­ces.

In other ac­tion Mon­day evening, the Board of Trustees elected new of­fi­cers: Jef­frey Richard as chair­man, Vic­tor Vil­lar­real as vice chair­man and Guadalupe Sosa as sec­re­tary. Betty Hwang was sworn in as the new­est mem­ber of the board.

Alberto MARTÍNEZ / amer­i­can-states­man

The ramp con­nect­ing US 290 West to MoPac (Loop 1) South will open Wed­nes­day morn­ing af­ter de­lays and a change of con­trac­tors. The open­ing com­pletes the project that in­cluded a ramp con­nect­ing the north­bound MoPac to east­bound US 290, which opened ear­lier this fall.

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