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Blinn board honors Gatewood, sets 2020 tax rate

Trustees also authorize the sale and issuance of $31.1 million in Series 2020 revenue bonds to support the construction of a Phase II facility at RELLIS

August 19, 2020

The Blinn College District Board of Trustees recognized outgoing trustee Dan Gatewood, adopted a resolution to adopt the current tax rate, and authorized bond funds to support the construction of a Phase II academic facility at the RELLIS Campus during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The board adopted a resolution in honor of Gatewood’s 1 ½ years of service to Blinn College. Gatewood was appointed to represent Precinct 4 in December 2018. According to board policy, the Blinn Board will make an appointment to fill the remainder of the term through May 2021.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, Gatewood authorized a new, 6,000-square-foot agricultural sciences building that opened on the Brenham Campus in February and authorized construction of the forthcoming science, technology, engineering, and innovation building. Gatewood also approved a public-private partnership to develop a new student housing complex on the Brenham Campus and gave preliminary approval for a new Phase II building at The Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, where Blinn is a partner in the RELLIS Academic Alliance.

Under Gatewood’s leadership, Blinn also has approved new programs, including an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Trades and Applied Technology and a new certificate in cybersecurity that will begin this Fall. With the introduction of the new science, technology, engineering, and innovation building, Blinn plans to introduce additional programs designed to prepare students for high-tech careers. Blinn launched new men’s and women’s golf teams last year and will introduce new esports teams on the Brenham and Bryan campuses this Fall.

During Gatewood’s tenure, Blinn also set new student enrollment records, including 19,202 students for the Fall 2019 semester.

In other action, the board adopted a resolution to set a tax rate of $0.0560 per $100 of property value, which is the College’s current rate. The rate will yield an estimated $2,212,543 in tax revenue. With the new rate, residents of Blinn’s taxing district in Washington County would pay $9.45 in monthly taxes on an average home valued at $202,582.

Trustees also authorized the College to proceed with the issuance, sale of Series 2020 revenue bonds, and refund of Series 2010 revenue bonds. The College will use a portion of the $31.1 million Series 2020 revenue bond, along with cash reserves, to fund the $32.2 million RELLIS Campus Phase II academic building. The remaining $13.1 million portion of the Series 2020 revenue bond will be used to refund the 2010 series bonds and pay bond issuance costs.

In other business, the board authorized the College to re-purpose $797,509 of the remaining 2016 bond proceeds to the science, technology, engineering, and innovation building on the Brenham Campus. The funds originally were approved for the Brenham Campus monument and signage process as well as a number of substantially complete projects, including a new Brenham Campus agriculture building, the replacement of the Brenham Campus Administration Building boiler, Bryan Campus cast stone repair, the RELLIS Campus workforce programs relocation, and RELLIS Campus site grading and parking.

The board also authorized the College to negotiate and execute a contract with Bartlett Cocke General Contractors for construction manager at risk services related to the RELLIS Phase II academic building.

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