web analytics

Categorized | Featured, News

Residents to vote on sinking fund millage

POTHOLE HEAVEN: Miles of roads on the Cedar Springs School campus are in dire need of repair. The district hopes that voters will pass a sinking fund millage to help pay for the costs.

By Judy Reed

 

When voters in the Cedar Springs Public School district head to the polls on February 28, there will be more choices than whom they want for president. They will also be voting on whether to allow the school to levy 1 mill to create a sinking fund to help renovate and repair school roads, buildings, and other items allowed under the law.

If passed, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay about $50 a year toward the fund over a 10-year period. It’s estimated that the first year would bring in about $521,000.

“It must be used for capital improvements,” said Assistant Superintendent David Cairy. “It cannot be used on supplies or new equipment.” He said they have a 75-page document that is very specific about what the funds can be used for. Cairy said they would look first at what was deteriorating the most.

He said that milling and repaving roads would be a top priority, given the age and the rate at which they are deteriorating. They have been doing small sections at a time and patching where needed, but major work needs to be done. “If we keep putting it off, we’d have to make a larger investment later,” he explained.

Hundreds of vehicles drive over the campus everyday, including buses, school vans, staff, student and parent vehicles. “It’s especially more worn where the buses are grinding over the road four times a day,” noted Cairy.

The cost to mill and repave, do curb and gutter work, and sub-pavement aggregate work is estimated to cost somewhere between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000, which would eat up a big portion of the maintenance budget. The current school budget for maintenance is $2 million.

Second on their priority list is parking expansion at Cedar Trails Elementary, Beach Elementary and the High School, with improved pick up and drop off, which could cost $235,000 to $450,000. Other items on the list put together by a community advisory committee include security modifications, technology infrastructure, and replacement of aged gym floors at Beach and Cedar View.

Cedar Springs, like many in Michigan, has been battling increasing costs and shrinking revenue from the state, forcing millions of dollars in cuts over the last few years. And while it is still early in the state budget process, Cairy estimated that according to the Governor’s plan, they might see $500,000 less in revenue than last year. And that doesn’t take into account increased expenditures.

Cairy noted that the great thing about the sinking fund is that it will be carefully scrutinized and audited, and that every dollar that comes in can be spent on their needs. “It meets our goal of not incurring any debt,” he said.

And what if the millage doesn’t pass? “Things will get reallocated, or we may have to take money out of the fund balance. But we have done cold-patching on the roads as long as we can.”

 

This post was written by:

- who has written 8125 posts on Cedar Springs Post Newspaper.


Contact the author

3 Responses to “Residents to vote on sinking fund millage”

  1. Charlie Towns says:

    Admin,
    Where can we find this 75 page document on what the fund will be used for? I was not able to find it on the schools website. Am I looking in the wrong place? Please Advise.

  2. Ed Valiket says:

    This is the same mentality the federal government uses to get what they want with the exception they just print more money and the school district has to ask for a new millage for a new a new category that didn`t exist before because they cannot live within their income. They have a maintenance budget that is supposed to cover the maintenance of the buildings and grounds but this isn`t covering it because they have built this many tentacled monster that has almost as many miles of roads as the City of Cedar Springs if they had of used their heads and built these schools on one plot of land instead of spreading them over hells half acre it would be much easier to deal with but I don`t think much thought was given to this when the schools were being built just purchase the land and build them and worry about maintenance down the road.
    As a self employed business owner if I make a stupid decision like this I have to deal with it I cannot just ask the community for another $50.00 per year house hold to bail out my stupidity and I don`t think the people of the Cedar Springs school district should either.
    I do think they have it names right though as everyone is sinking under the weight of all the federal,state, county, township and city taxes so why not call it the SINKING FUND?

    I pay taxes on two properties in Kent county and only have one vote but I will be voting against this

  3. Charlie Towns says:

    This is cut and pasted from a story the post ran in APR 2011. “….some of the priorities are parking, roads, and student drop offs; safety and security needs; technology and energy upgrades; and replacement of the synthetic turf on the athletic field.” Sounds like the same pitch this time except they left the synthetic turf off the list. The Turf did not fix itself, so they still need it and are just not saying it hoping the fund will pass. I no longer mind them getting turf, I just want them to have a policy that Skinner Field is just as important as Red Hawk Stadium, and have a plan for resurfacing the track there as well. Skinner Field is a Community and school assets, both can use it. You would think the school would realize that and want to spend OUR tax dollars there first since we both can use the facility. The community gets twice the usage out of it. I hope Skinner and the community are not forgotten when they have this new money, as I think this fund will pass.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks