By Tony Farkas
TRINITY — The Trinity ISD Board of Trustees approved a $14.3 million FY 2023-24 budget, as well as a tax rate that is lower than in the previous year.
Superintendent Dr. John Kaufman said the budget passed during the Aug. 28 meeting was balanced, with revenue and expenditures at $14,298,156, and may have a $36,320 surplus.
Kaufman said the budget is largely business as usual but does contain funding for state-mandated safety items, such as 8-foot fencing. Additionally, the baseball and softball fields at the high school will have a new look.
The tax rate approved by the board is .9135 per $100, a 20-cent drop from last year’s rate, which was 1.1180, Kaufman said. The budget for food service is balanced at $809,437, and the district still feeds the students 3 meals a day at no cost.
In a separate matter, the board gave its approval to issue maintenance bonds to finance the replacement of older air conditioning units and to upgrade the district to LED lighting.
Kaufman said they were spending $200,000 a year keeping the older units working, so now any unit 17 years or older — 49 in all — will be replaced. Also, the district will save money by converting the older fluorescent lights to LED.
He said $1.6 million in bonds will be issued, which will spread out the cost so the district will not have to pay the $1.6 million all at once. The payments will come out of general operating funds and won’t be changing anyone’s tax requirement.
In other business, the board:
•approved a contract with Integra Insurance for property and automobiles, which went up $100,000 to a total premium of $330,046;
•approved paying the retainer with the Walsh Gallegos legal firm at $1,000; and
•approved 4-H as an extracurricular activity within the district.