CITY & SCHOOLS
News from Clear Creek ISD & League City
COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE & DANIEL WEEKS
QUOTE OF NOTE “[TAXPAYERS ARE SEEING] LARGE INCREASES IN THEIR VALUES, AND THEY’RE PAYING MORE TAXES, BUT THAT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THE DISTRICT RECEIVES MORE FUNDING.” ALICE BENZAIA, CLEAR CREEK ISD CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER CITY HIGHLIGHTS LEAGUE CITY On June 28, League City City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the construction of Segment B of the Grand Parkway. Other groups across Brazoria and Galveston counties have recently signed their own resolutions supporting the project, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey said. Grand Parkway would be the third loop in addition to Loop 610 and Beltway 8 and would go through several counties surrounding Harris County. Most of the Grand Parkway is complete, but segments A, B and C—which, in part, stretch through League City—have yet to be constructed to complete the loop. LEAGUE CITY On July 12, League City City Council voted in favor of combining two tracts into one and rezoning them to make them a single planned unit development, or PUD. The Stedman-West PUD, originally 640 acres, will now be 804 acres after council’s action added to the PUD a 164-acre parcel located east of the Stedman-West tract. David Hoover, League City director of planning and development, said combining the tracts, located south of League City Parkway and west of McFarland Road, will result in better Clear Creek ISD will meet at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 8 for a board workshop and at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 for a regular meeting at 2425 E. Main St., League City. Watch online at www.ccisd.net/boardmeeeting. League City City Council will meet at 6 p.m. July 26 and Aug. 9 at 200 W. Walker St., League City. Meetings are streamed at www.facebook.com/ leaguecitytexas. MEETINGS WE COVER traffic connectivity. The PUD will include plenty of detention ponds with amenities such as fishing piers, kayaking opportunities, fountains and enhanced trails. In addition, the PUD will have to include at least 25 acres of parkland, including a regional park to the south.
Clear Creek ISD preliminary FY 2022-23 budget shows slight tax rate reduction CLEAR CREEK ISD The preliminary fiscal year 2022-23 budget plan for Clear Creek ISD shows a tentative reduction of its annual tax rate. The CCISD board of trustees received a presentation from Chief Financial Officer Alice Benzaia at a regular June 27 meeting. Benzaia covered the preliminary tax rate and budget plan, which is yet to be finalized and approved. According to Benzaia, the total tax rate for FY 2022-23 will tentatively be about $1.1593 per $100 property valua- tion, a decrease of from the previous year at about $1.1797. Until the Texas Education Agency sends an approved max- imum compressed tax rate, the rate is subject to change. Due to the recent spike in property values and an overall increase in taxable property value year over year, a tax rate reduction is expected, Benzaia said. “[Taxpayers are seeing] large increases in their values, and they’re paying more taxes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the district receives more funding,” Benzaia said. The preapproved budget for FY 2022-23 is about $366.49 million. About $327 million is projected to be spent on
DECREASING TAX RATE Clear Creek ISD’s 2022-23 tentative tax rate is part of a decreasing trend.
$1.50 $1.40 $1.30 $1.20 0
2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23**
*PER $100 PROPERTY VALUATION **TAX RATE NOT YET FINAL
SOURCE: CLEAR CREEK ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
payroll costs for staff. A 2% increase in salary is included, which would cost the district about $6.8 million. Staffing reductions will bring the district an estimated $4.8 million. Each spring, an analysis of all CCISD campuses is conducted to determine if the district’s staffing ratio guidelines are met compared to student enrollment. The reduction of enrollment in the 2021-22 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in smaller class sizes, resulting in reductions. A public hearing will be held to discuss the budget and tax rate in August.
City Council approves Phase 2 of Bay Ridge flood mitigation LEAGUE CITY On June 28, League City City Council unanimously approved the city beginning Phase 2 of the Bay Ridge flood mitigation project. The cost is $9.26 million— about a 50% increase from its original projected cost of about $6 million, officials said. According to the city’s website, Phase 2 includes adding capacity to the neighborhood’s existing deten- tion pond and adding a dedicated pump station. The project is one of many in League City’s $73 million flood project bonds, which residents overwhelmingly approved in 2019. Mayor Pat Hallisey said the Bay Ridge project is the largest amount the city is spending on bond projects because it was hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey, which resulted in about 25% of properties in League City flooding. Angie Steelman, budget director for League City, said city officials are tracking project costs in real time to make sure they do not go over the $73 million bond amount.
Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Eric Williams to retire CLEAR CREEK ISD After 1 1/2 years in the role, Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Eric Williams has announced will retire effective Jan. 31, 2023. The board of trustees approved an agreement to Williams’s voluntary retirement discussed in a closed ses- sion at a July 11 workshop meeting. Williams stated he would embark on a short-term leave of absence that began July 12, planning a return to Virginia to “support a family member with a medical condition.” “Clear Creek ISD is an exemplary school district. I’m deeply grateful to the CCISD staff and all that they do day in and day out,” Williams said. “I appreciate having had the opportunity to work in and lead a district that effectively empowers students to achieve, contribute and lead with integrity.” The CCISD board June 11 unani- mously approved the nomination of Karen Engle as the interim district superintendent. Engle previously served as the assistant
Eric Williams will officially retire from the Clear Creek ISD superintendent role Jan. 31, 2023.
superintendent of secondary education and has over 20 years of experience in the district. Williams came to CCISD from Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia near the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He started the role Jan. 18, 2021, after former Superintendent Greg Smith retired the previous month. Williams’s nomination and selection process in November and December 2020 faced an intense deliberation process, according to board members at the time. Parents from CCISD previously protested the selection of Williams on social media, citing dissatis- faction with a perceived use of critical race theory in schools and insufficient planning for a return to in-person school during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Trustees said upon Williams’s hiring he was chosen for his knowl- edge, passion and experience being a superintendent.
BAY AREA EDITION • JULY 2022
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