MIDLOTHIAN — The MISD Board of Trustees approved the estimated published tax rate for the 2011-12 budget at the meeting Monday night at $1.47. The estimated interest and sinking (I&S) rate is $1.04 and $0.43 for maintenance and operation (M&O). The board will further discuss the rate at the June 20 meeting.

“The final tax rate won’t be published until August,” Dr. Edd Bigbee, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, said. “It will have to be published again.”

Newly re-elected board members, Cindy Williams, Place 6 and Wayne Shuffield, Place 7 received the oath of office from 40th District Court Judge Bob Carroll.

The board moved on to elect officers for the ensuing term. Duke Burge was selected a president, Phil Seay as vice president and Wayne Shuffield as secretary.

After approval of the consent agenda, the board unanimously passed a motion approving the MISD Board of Trustees Resolution of Appreciation for the hard work and support of those groups, business and individuals involved in the recent bond election.

“This is an opportunity for the board to express their gratitude to all the parties involved in making this a successful bond,” Dr. Jerome Stewart, superintendent, said.

In other business, Gary Clark with Energy Education made a follow-up presentation to the board explaining that by contracting with the company, the district could save a projected $6.5 million in utility costs over a 10-year period. He said the program focuses on changing people’s habit and behaviors, and would be budget-neutral since it would be funded out of the existing utility budget. The program guarantees that the district will save enough to cover any costs.

“All costs are covered by the savings or we will write you a check,” Clark said saying the savings for the first full year of the program was estimated at $252,000. “This will free up money to spend on the kids and programs.”

The district would have to purchase Energy Cap software from a third party and periodically report utility cost and usage to track the amount of savings.

“We don’t tell you how much you save, you tell us. Our average is 20-30 percent (savings) with 1,100 clients,” Clark said. “Our service is primarily custodial, maintenance and food service. They have the most impact.”

Dr. Stewart and Dr. Bigbee have both experienced the programs in other districts.

“When Canton ISD went into this, I was skeptical. After one year, I was no longer skeptical. Every promise was fulfilled. They did everything they said they would. They were there to support us and did a wonderful job,” Stewart said.

After extensive discussion, the motion to approve a 4-year contract passed by a vote of 4-2 with board member Tom Moore abstaining.

Additionally, a motion was passed to approve employee recognitions from money already budgeted for that purpose.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.