Katy bond proposal brings opposing views

- An ongoing debate continues over a proposed bond for the Katy Independent School District, which voters will say yes or no to on Nov. 7.

At issue is a $609 million bond that supporters say will help the booming population growth that Katy continues to see. Opponents, on the other hand, are leery, especially after Harvey damaging homes and likely affecting the values of them.

"It's important that everyone get out and vote," says bond supporter and Katy community member Shani Matheson. "This bond is very important to our district." 

"I think vote no and let's look at it again," says bond opponent A.D. Muller, who has lived in Katy for more than 20 years. "Go back to the blackboard, so to speak." 

The bond, if passed, would provide several enhancements including a ninth high school for Katy ISD. The cost for the high school is more than $200 million.

Katy is the second-fastest growing area in the state of Texas," argues Matheson. "In order to build our schools, we need bonds." 

Muller references the new multi-million dollar football stadium in Katy as the prime example of how bond proposals can cost more than what's on paper.

"When we were having a bond for the football stadium, $58 million stadium, it ended up costing $72 million, after the people voted for a $58 million school," says Muller.

Not the case says Matheson, who also sat on the stadium bond committee. 

"You can look at all the details," adds Matheson. "We have a detailed list of what is included in every project so $609 million and some change is what this bond will be."

But it's the money and reappraisal, post Harvey, that Muller is concerned about, as his very own home in Katy nearly flooded.

"We're worried about the appraisals and what it'll do to the community," says Muller. "We have complete neighborhoods that are gone and we don't know what's going to happen to those neighborhoods." 

"The reappraisals could affect a home $2 to maybe $500, so not a huge amount, but like someone said, if that family needs that $500, we want them to reappraise their house and have that $500," says Matheson when asked about the reappraisals now needed following Harvey's destruction.

The bond, if passed, would also build two new junior high campuses and three elementary schools. 61 campuses in the Katy ISD will apparently see improvements. Opponents say there's no way to guarantee the money will be used that way because the ballot writing is simply too vague.

Election Day is on Nov. 7.

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