Vote ‘Yes’ for Groom

Election Day Offers Residents Huge Opportunity

White wooden boards with texture as background

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Ettes’ End Season
February 21, 2018
A Tiger Tale
February 20, 2018
Sophomore+Sydney+Ritter+stands+in+front+of+the+school+holding+a+yearbook+from+1966.+The+very+first+page+of+the+yearbook+is+a+picture+of+the+face+of+the+school.+As+you+can+see+in+the+photo%2C+the+school+hasnt+changed+much%2C+and+we+have+this+amazing+opportunity+to+update+our+entire+school.+Ritter+said.+

Madison Friemel

Sophomore Sydney Ritter stands in front of the school holding a yearbook from 1966. The very first page of the yearbook is a picture of the face of the school. “As you can see in the photo, the school hasn’t changed much, and we have this amazing opportunity to update our entire school.” Ritter said.

Groom residents will vote on election day concerning a $19.5 million bond to update the entire school.

Voters on Nov. 8 should vote to pass this bond.

The current building has several major problems that make this facility what some people describe as a, “ticking time bomb.” An exaggeration, but the building truly is falling apart in places. With the current problems, the school is losing money due to outdated equipment, including  energy-sucking light fixtures. Plumbing, water lines and gas lines are all over 50 years old too, making repairs difficult and sometimes impossible due to parts not even being sold anymore.  Thus, the maintenance costs for the school are increasing by 34 percent. According to information presented by the school administration at the recent community bond meetings, in 2012-13 costs were $167,512, and the bond PowerPoint documents the costs are expected to rise to more than $220,000.

Parts of the school currently aren’t even safe anymore, due to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was first used when it was discovered for its versatility and insulating properties. Then, experts found that it was toxic and could cause cancer. While the school has undergone previous abatement projects,  asbestos still remains, but it would be completely removed if the bond is approved.

Another problem specifically for athletes, the gym floor is on its last leg. The floor is sanded down to the nails. That means without the bond, the school will have to find some money to completely redo the floor anyway. Our gym is also not the proper size. With the bond, though, the school would be able to get a regulation-size gym. In addition, if the basketball program had two nice gyms, the tournament that the school typically puts on in the winter could be much larger, and bring in more money, too.

The big disagreement seems to be in the taxes debate, but according to the numbers presented by the administration, Groom taxes were $1.400 in 2012, and the projected taxes for the bond are $1.364 in 2017, a number less than 2010, and also a number that is only 0.054 cents more than last year. In addition, according to the Carson County Appraisal District, residents who are 65 or older who have received a homestead exemption may see no tax increase at all.

While some residents feel 19.5 million dollars is too much money for a school population of 150 students, shouldn’t Groom voters prefer the money to go to their own children, and shouldn’t they want to invest in their own hometown to see it improve and grow? The kids here in a small, rural school deserve nice, safe facilities just like any other district, big or small.  If this bond doesn’t pass, money will be forced to return to the state of Texas – money that could have been used to improve classrooms here will be lost.

The real ticking time bomb, though, is our window of time to act on the money that’s being provided by the wind farms, which already are depreciating in value. Groom residents should go vote to pass this bond on Nov. 8 to protect our students, provide a facility that meets regulations and to see our school grow.

 

Senior citizens who have filed for a homestead exemption also may have no additional tax burden and thus no financial reason to say "No" to the proposed school bond. According to information from the Texas Comptroller of Publica Accounts Property Tax Division's information on "Taxpayers' Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities," Residents who qualify for an aged 65 or older homestead exemption, also receive a "tax ceiling for your total school taxes." This information was supplied directly to GroomTigerTimes.com by Emily Choate, Collections Clerk for the Carson County Appraisal District.

Senior citizens who have filed for a homestead exemption also may have no additional tax burden and thus no financial reason to say “No” to the proposed school bond. According to information from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Property Tax Division’s information on “Taxpayers’ Rights, Remedies and Responsibilities,” residents who qualify for an aged 65 or older homestead exemption, also receive a “tax ceiling for your total school taxes.” This information was supplied directly to GroomTigerTimes.com by Emily Choate, Collections Clerk for the Carson County Appraisal District.