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Officials say bonds on Bridge City ballots will benefit students, increase taxes

If passed, one would pay for a new middle school campus, and the other would pay for a new career and technology facility.

BRIDGE CITY, Texas — Early voters in Bridge City are sharing their opinions about two bonds on the ballot that if passed would benefit students but raise taxes.

Community members are voting "yes" or "no" to a school bond proposal. There are two separate bonds on the ballot. 

If passed, one would pay for a new middle school campus and the other would pay for a new career and technology facility.

A similar bond was proposed in 2019 but did not pass. Bridge City Independent School District Superintendent Mike Kelly said this time the bonds are separated so voters can have more options.

"We heard over and over, 'If you just ask for a middle school, we would vote for middle school, you know. We get it. You need a middle school, but don't lump it all together,'" Kelly said.  

Many voters said they support the bonds because they have kids or grandkids that go to Bridge City schools. Others are concerned about the bonds' multi-million dollar price tag. 

If they pass, the two bonds will total more than $72 million. This means for a $100,000 home, monthly taxes will increase by $10.62 if both propositions pass.

Regardless of the price, Kelly said this cannot be put off any longer.

"There's a lot of things that, like the clay pipes for instance, things that we cannot fix, unless we really dig into it,” Kelly said. “The only way to get to clay pipes underneath the concrete is to bust up that concrete."

The superintendent said the issues are interrupting Bridge City student's learning.

"We have two science labs that we can't even really utilize because the gas lines to get to those science labs for experiments and things are corroded, so we have no gas to go to those labs,” Kelly said.

Some parents are for the bonds and believe they will open more doors for students.

"It's going to encourage and inspire them," Cristina Johnson, Bridge City parent, said. "We're going to have kids graduating with certificates that can put them to work in a field that they're interested in."

One voter said she is hesitant about the bond and is concerned about adding more taxes to her bill. 

Regardless of whether the bonds get voted in or not, Kelly said voters should have the final say.

"No matter the outcome at the end of this, it'll be a lot easier to swallow knowing that the voice of the community was heard," Kelly said.

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