Lantana foundation oversight changing

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Adkins Elementary School in Lantana.

The Lantana Education/Charitable Foundation will soon be solely in the hands of Lantana residents.

The Foundation was created in 2001 by Republic Property Group, the original lead developer for the community. Austin-based Forestar Group Inc. acquired the remaining partnership interest in Lantana in 2014 and currently oversees the Foundation.

As development winds down, Forestar has engaged the resident-run Lantana Cares 501(3c) nonprofit organization to accept and manage the Foundation.

Lantana Cares, founded in 2016, is “dedicated to resident-empowered beautification, education and recreation.”  The organization is made up of nine board members, who recruit other volunteers to help out with local service projects.

“The details are being worked out now,” said Christy Wong, president of Lantana Cares. “If everyone agrees– with the legal language and accounting issues being mitigated by the accounting firm– we hope to appoint five committee members sometime in July.”

The newly-formed committee will oversee the distribution of funds to Lantana schools and other Lantana-based 501(3c) nonprofits. The grant requests will also have to satisfy the guidelines set forth in the Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation; “for charitable, education, religious, scientific or literary purposes only.”

Funding for the Foundation comes from one-half of one percent of the sale price of all real estate within Lantana. The fee is tax-deductible when you sell your home.

In 2001, the Foundation committed $1 million to the Denton ISD, enabling E.P. Rayzor, Lantana’s first elementary school, to open in August 2002. Subsequent similar donations helped the school district build Blanton and Adkins elementary schools, as well as Harpool Middle School, all in Lantana.

The Foundation reported $1,489,130 in donations and a fund balance of $859,437 for calendar-year 2017, according to the latest available public tax filing. All three board members listed were employees of Forestar Group.

“There’s enough in the [education] fund to make a difference, but it’s not as much as some people think,” said Wong. “It’s for the betterment of Lantana and it will continue to do so.”

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