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School disapproves land agreement

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    From left to right: JD Harkins (District 5), Angie Edmon (District 4), Juanita Valarie Neidig (District 6) and David Glass (District 7) are sworn in as members of the Elgin ISD school board. 
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    Student athletes from Elgin High School were recognized during the May school board meeting for their accomplishments in UIL athletics at the state level. From left to right: Kerrington Holiday, Zaria Bledsoe, Jordan Hood, Shanice Ross, Rebecca Rivers.

At the Elgin Independent School District board of trustees meeting on May 20, Elgin High School athletes were honored for their accomplishments, board members were sworn in after this spring’s election, and the board discussed a potential action to be taken by the city to dis-annex land that includes school property.


Being the first meeting after local elections, the winners were officially sworn into their position on the board. The election was canvassed and the votes certified during a special board meeting on May 10.

District 4 incumbent Angie Edmon kept her spot on the board after defeating challenger Duane Shaw in the only contested election for the Elgin school district.

District 5 incumbent J.D. Harkins was sworn into his seat after an uncontested race. District 6 board member Juanita Valarie Neidig, who was appointed to fill an unexpired term after Pete Bega stepped down in December, also faced no challengers and was re-elected.

David Glass was sworn into his seat for District 7 after an uncontested race in which former board member John Altmiller did not seek reelection. Altmiller was thanked by Superintendent Jodi Duron and the rest of the board for his seven years of service on the school board.



The board discussed the potential dis-annexation of land from the City of Elgin which includes property owned by Elgin ISD.

The land was annexed in 2015 as a part of a 212-acre—95 tract—annexation to the south and southeast of Elgin. By state law, the City of Elgin must extend all city services to the annexed area by the year 2020. The city has complied with this law with the exception of one service: wastewater and sanitary sewer services. The city is concerned that the cost to install the wastewater infrastructure—$2.75 million—could not fully be returned by projections of full growth potential.

One proposed alternative to building this project is dis-annexing the area. In March, the Elgin City Council discussed a compromise—all of the recently-annexed property west of the railroad tracks would be retained, while the property east of the railroad tracks would be dis-annexed—and approved sending a letter with a dis-annexation agreement to all property owners in the second area. The school district’s land, located at the intersection of Highway 95 and Sayers Road, falls into the second category.

In exchange for dis-annexation, property owners would be required to sign this agreement, which states the property would not be developed, all development regulations and planning authority of the city would remain applicable, the property would only be used for single-family residential uses and no refund of property taxes would be sought.

The 1.83 acres owned by the school district in the area that may be dis-annexed contains the Elgin High School FFA’s agricultural barn, where the annual Livestock Show & Youth Fair takes place. The school district was notified via letter sent on April 23 that the land may be disannexed. The letter also states the school has 30 days to contact the city manager’s office to state their intent to either remain annexed or dis-annex.

The agriculture barn currently has its own independent septic system, which could continue to be used even after the installation of the wastewater infrastructure, thus bringing no additional costs to the school, board member Geno Chavarria said in opposition to dis-annexing the land. However, if the school did desire to expand the barn or add a new building to the land, they would have to bring the building up to city code standards and then connect to the new wastewater infrastructure. Thus, the school district would have a higher wastewater cost for the building at that time.

After in-depth discussion, the board decided to formally disapprove of the potential dis-annexation of the property from the city limits of Elgin. Elgin ISD is just one of 40 landowners on the 212-acre annexation that was asked to give their approval or disapproval of the dis-annexation agreement.



Five Elgin High School student athletes were honored at the meeting for their accomplishments at the state level.

Sophomore Jordan Hood participates in football, track and powerlifting. Hood finished fifth place at the state powerlifting meet this year after placing first at the regional meet. At the state meet, Hood lifted 410 pounds on bench press, 650 pounds on deadlift and 750 pounds on squat.

Junior Kerrington Holiday participates in basketball, track and powerlifting. Holiday finished in first place at the state powerlifting meet this year, making her the powerlifting state champion of her division. At the state meet, Holiday lifted 205 pounds on bench press, 410 pounds on dead-lift and 450 pounds on squat.

Senior Zaria Bledsoe participates in softball and powerlifting. Bledsoe placed tenth in the state with weights of 160 pounds on bench, 340 pounds on deadlift and 380 pounds on squat. Bledsoe will attend Langston University in the fall to play softball and continue her education.

Senior Rebecca Rivers participates in cross-country and swimming. After finishing amongst the top eight high school swimmers in the state during her junior season, Rivers returned to the state swim meet this year to place seventh in the 100-meter backstroke and third in the 500-meter freestyle. Rivers has been named to the Austin American Statesman’s All-Star Preps team for the 2018-2019 year and was invited to the Best of Centex Preps Awards Banquet on June 10. Rivers will attend Drury University where she will continue her education alongside her swimming and triathlon careers.

Senior Shanice Ross placed in the top eight of the state in two different sports during this school year. Ross finished in fourth place for powerlifting and eighth place for discus at the state track meet. Ross lifted 180 pounds on bench press, 370 pounds on deadlift and 410 pounds on squat at the state meet. Ross will attend McMurry University in the fall to continue her track career.