Early voting for Natalia ISD bond election begins Oct. 22

Early voting on Natalia ISD’s $10.7M bond election begins next Monday, Oct. 22 and runs through Friday, Nov. 2.
The bond will fund the construction of five new Natalia Junior High School classrooms, a new science and art area, a new library, kitchen, combined NJHS/Natalia Elementary School cafeteria, NES playground, and covered play area. New NJHS administration offices will be built, and the current NJHS cafeteria will be converted into a Band Hall.
Plans also call for corridors to be built between NES, the new construction, and NJHS, enclosing the campuses and allowing for indoor foot traffic to pass from one campus to the other.
Bus and parent drop-off points will be re-routed along 8th St. Parent drop-off will be in front of the new NJHS administration offices, and 60 new parking spaces will be added.
The current NJHS 6th grade wing will be demolished. Any remaining funds will be used to renovate the elementary gym.
Construction on the project could begin as early as February 2019.
The 25-year bond comes with an assumed 4.50 percent interest rate based on assumed property values of $200,892,602 and a 96 percent tax collection rate.
According to Victor Quiroga, Jr. of Frost Bank, the annual impact to a $100,000 home with a net taxable value of $75,000 due to a $25,000 Homestead Exemption will be $23.78 a month, or $285.30 annually.
Homeowners with the Over-65 Homestead Exemption will not be impacted by the bond.
The bond currently under consideration is a version of the $9.1M bond proposed in 2015 that was rejected by voters.
Natalia ISD School Board member Jack Bradley, Jr., spoke in August of the importance of passing the bond.
“I hope people realize that things aren’t getting cheaper, they’re getting more expensive,” Bradley said. “If it weren’t to pass, who knows what the cost is going to be next time? It’s going to get to the point where we absolutely have to have these facilities upgraded and it could be twice as much.”
Early voting sites include the Medina County Pct. 4 building at 317 Hwy. 132 N. in Devine, the Medina County Pct. 2 building at 8366 FM 471 S. in Castroville, and at the Medina County Elections Department at 1202 14th St. in Hondo.
Voting hours Monday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Oct. 26 are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Voting on Saturday, Oct. 27 is from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Hours on Monday, Oct. 29, Wednesday, Oct. 31, and Friday, Nov. 2 are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, while voting on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and Thursday, Nov. 1 is from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Polling places on Election Day include the Pct. 4 and Pct. 2 buildings in Devine and Castroville, the Natalia First Baptist Church at 301 Pearson St. in Natalia, the Hondo Public Library at 2003 Ave. K in Hondo, the South Texas Regional Training Center at 402 Carter St. in Hondo, the D’Hanis Community Center at 7475 CR 524 in D’Hanis, and the Mico Volunteer Fire Department at 7121 CR 271 in Mico.
Election Day voting is from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at all polling places.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer