Byers board OK’s consolidation agreement; Petrolia board to meet

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By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

Byers ISD trustees approved the proposed consolidation agreement between Byers and Petrolia school districts Tuesday night as presented by attorney Cheryl Mehl, leaving Petrolia ISD to make the next move.

The Petrolia School Board will meet at Petrolia Elementary on Thursday to consider approval of the agreement. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Trustees from each district have until March 5 to approve the agreement and call an election for consolidation. The issue will be placed as a proposition on the May 12 school ballot. The consolidation agreement must be made available to the public for inspection by April 16, 25 days before the election. Each school is also required to hold at least one public hearing prior to the election.

If voters approve consolidation, Petrolia ISD will lay claim to the Byers school facilities, and has stated that the school grounds will be donated to the City of Byers. The donation will include furniture, building fixtures, kitchen equipment and maintenance equipment. Petrolia ISD will remove anything that may be of education value to the students, such as study materials or computers.

According to state law, the city must use the facilities for public purposes, and maintain the historical integrity of the buildings and grounds. If the city chose to sell the facility, it would revert back to the school district.

The city has agreed to take over the property.

Petrolia ISD has made note that it would like for the Byers ISD livestock project barn to be accessible to those students of the proposed Petrolia Consolidated School District who live in Byers.

In a previous meeting, Mehl, who has been hired by both districts as a mediator, said such an agreement would have to be reached with the city.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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