The Roscoe Independent School District amended its agreement with Airtricity during a regular meeting of board trustees this week.
The changes in the agreement will reflect the additional phases of the Champion Wind Farm project. The first agreement was made official during a Sept. 10 meeting.
Airtricity vice president Patrick Woodson told trustees that after the first and second phases are completed, the company will construct a third and fourth phase of the project. These projects will produce 249 and 179 megawatts, respectively, of electricity with a large portion of it in the Roscoe ISD.
The new wind turbines will be primarily located north of Interstate 20 and north of Roscoe. Parts of the Roscoe ISD are located not only in Nolan County but also in Mitchell, Scurry and Fisher counties.
Airtricity is also planning at least a fifth phase and perhaps a sixth phase further north and west of Roscoe in the future, according to Woodson.
This agreement for the limitation on appraised value of property for school district maintenance and operations taxes with Airtricity allows the school district to have the value of the wind project as $10 million on the tax rolls when the project is actually approximately worth $267 million. This will benefit both parties, as the school benefits when it comes to state funding and Airtricity could see a tax credit.
Roscoe ISD will not see an actual dollar benefit from this project until the 2010-11 school year. However, that benefit will be in excess of $2 million for the following seven years and over $1.5 million for the next four years after that, according to a report produced by Moak and Casey Associates, the firm representing Roscoe in this agreement.
Joe Wisnoski, an associate with the firm who was present at this week’s board meeting, stressed that these figures are an estimate and based on the assumption that the school finances will remain the same.
The school board also heard from Ricky Bowman, who gave a report regarding the school district’s annual audit. The report was approved as read. No major issues were discussed.
Roscoe High School counselor Marsha Alexander also went over the 2006-07 AEIS report with the board during the meeting, a report which was previously discussed along with the accountability rating earlier in the year. The AEIS report is a report card of the school. Reports for both the elementary and high school can be downloaded from the school district’s Web site at www.roscoe.esc14.net.
High school principal Frank Young reported that Roscoe ISD was recently recognized by two magazine publications, U.S. News and World Report and Texas Monthly. Roscoe High School was among 16 Big Country campuses that were given a Bronze recognition for a report on the nation’s best high schools in the U.S. News and World Report issue. Roscoe was also recognized for its success in junior high social studies in Texas Monthly.
Among other action items on this week’s agenda, the board approved the 2008-09 school calendar and placed votes for the board of directors for the Mitchell County Appraisal District.
The board also agreed to reassign Shannon Boren as a language arts teacher and Jo-Ann Gonzales as a third grade teacher to help with the large class size in the third grade. Currently there are 24 students in the class, and the recommended number of students per teacher is 22. Young said that this was an important move since third grade is a TAKS testing area. This move will allow the class to be split.
The board also agreed to create the position for a paraprofessional in the pre-kindergarten class since it is also a large class.
Senior citizens ages 65 and older will now be able to get into extracurricular functions at the school free of charge. The board voted to create this exception for senior citizens and agreed that it was a good way to show appreciation for the senior citizens’ many years of support.
The board also discussed the Christmas bonus for employees.
Roscoe ISD Superintendent Kim Alexander told trustees he will soon be touring schools in the Metroplex area to see how the Transforming Schools Initiative is working, which Alexander said he believes is a “difference maker” if the staff supports it.
He also discussed a plan the school district is required to put together on how the district can cut energy costs. The school is now awaiting an analysis of their recent energy bills.
Alexander also discussed possible facility improvements such as improving or replacing the fencing around the school and stadium and adding concrete around the track as well as a ticket booth near the stadium. He is in the process of pricing these projects. The development of a technical/dual credit co-op with TSTC and WTC was also discussed.
Board members took home appraisal packets to return with for the next board meeting in regard to Alexander’s annual appraisal by the board. No closed session was held.
Written by Kimberly Gray
23 December 2007