SISD student travel meal allowance to increase

The Sweetwater Independent School District (SISD) Board of Trustees approved an increase to the student travel meal allowance during their meeting held on Monday night at the Administration Building.With the current prices standing at $5 for a day trip and $6 per meal on an overnight trip, the district's meal allowance can barely keep up with the rising costs to pay for a standard meal. Thus, a dollar increase to both prices was proposed.The new prices will now be $6 and $7 for a day and overnight trip, respectively. The district will see if the new prices will suffice and, dependent on the results as well as responses from other schools on their meal prices, the prices may possibly see another increase at the change of the budget cycle.In addition, approval was given on the order of election to be held on Saturday, May 11. The deadline to file is on March 1, with Districts 1, 2 and 5 up for re-election. These respective seats are currently filled by Ginny Mayes, Becky Jimenez and Nancy Johnson.Also, the delinquent tax lot bid process was discussed, in which SISD Business Manager Nathan Ehlert explained the process prior to action being taken.When a piece of property is repossessed for back taxes, it enters into a share sale and has to meet a minimum bid. If it does not meet the lowest requirements, the property goes to the largest tax entity in their name.The Central Appraisal District plays a significant role in the process, as the cost for each property differs on what the rates were in past years. After a ten-year period, the property is written off as uncollectable. The intent with the delinquent tax lot bids is to get the property back onto the tax rolls and to benefit the community, rather than being an eyesore.Board members asked further questions about the process, and with several items on the list, the bids were placed as an individual action item instead of their usual placement on the consent agenda. Discussion was held on the presented bids and were then approved as presented.The consent agenda was additionally approved at the meeting, which was made up by the minutes of the meetings held on January 14 and January 24 and the investment statement, as well as the January 2013 financial statements and bills.One new hire was noted and approved in professional personnel changes, and while no action was required, some changes were noted in paraprofessional personnel. The meeting wrapped up with an executive session to discuss the superintendent's recommendations for principal and administrator contracts for the 2013-2014 school year. Approval was given following the closed meeting.