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Blinn College trustees approve two leases for space at the RELLIS Campus

Board adopts a 2017 Washington County tax rate of $0.0601 per $100 valuation

September 19, 2017

The Blinn College Board of Trustees approved two proposed leases between Blinn College and The Texas A&M University System at the RELLIS Campus, and adopted a 2017 tax rate of $0.0601 per $100 valuation during its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The trustees approved lease agreements between the Blinn College Board of Trustees and the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents regarding the use of space in the Texas A&M System’s RELLIS academic complex for Blinn College’s health science programs, and Building 8004 on the RELLIS Campus. The board authorized Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District, to finalize negotiations and execution of both agreements.

Blinn College and The Texas A&M System agreed to a 30-year term at $27 per square foot per annum for approximately 16,350 square feet of space in the first phase of the A&M System’s RELLIS academic complex. Blinn officials expect the lease to save the College more than $1 million annually in comparison to its current lease agreement at the Health Science Center Campus.

Blinn and The Texas A&M System also agreed to a 40-year lease at $6 per square foot for the approximately 5,200-square-foot Building 8004 in the RELLIS Campus, located adjacent to the Blinn academic facility currently under construction.

Located near State Highway 47 and Highway 21, the RELLIS Campus establishes a new educational community combining a major university system and a community college at a single physical location. Blinn’s 83,000-square-foot academic facility will serve as many as 2,500 students completing their freshman- and sophomore-level courses in preparation for upper-level courses at the Texas A&M System universities that will be located at the RELLIS Campus by 2020.

Blinn’s board also voted to maintain the tax rate established in both 2015 and 2016. This rate remains the lowest among the state’s 50 community college district, and is less than one-third of the average state-wide community college tax rate of $0.1820. It is expected to generate an estimated $1,887,086 in tax revenue to support Brenham Campus maintenance and operations, and equates to approximately $108.40 in annual taxes on an average Washington County home valued at $180,380. Blinn hosted public hearings regarding the tax rate on Sept. 7 and Sept. 19.

While Blinn College provides services to a 13-county area, only Washington County resides within the College’s taxing district. Property tax revenue pays for approximately one-third of the Blinn-Brenham Campus’s maintenance and operations costs, with Brenham Campus student tuition and fee revenues funding the remaining costs. By law, property tax revenue cannot be utilized to fund campuses outside of the taxing district.

In other business, the board:

  • authorized the administration to award contracts totaling $23,851 with KBACoach.com for athletic equipment, Alert Service, Inc. for athletic trainer equipment, and Sterlington Medical for automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Each of these items will be utilized at the Kruse Center.
  • authorized the administration to craft and for Chancellor Hensley to execute a letter in support of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Old Mill Creek Road and Saeger Street in Brenham.
  • approved the selection of a financial consultant regarding the investment of Blinn College endowment funds.