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Sinking fund millage renewal information

This is not an increase

Cedar Springs, Sept. 27 – Cedar Springs Public Schools is asking voters to renew its building and site sinking fund levy on November 2. 

According to Superintendent Scott Smith, “We are asking voters to extend a millage they are currently paying to provide continued support for the district’s efforts to provide quality facilities for our students and guests. This will not be a new addition to their property taxes. Strong communities build strong schools and strong schools build stronger communities. The two go hand in hand.” 

Originally approved in 2012, the sinking fund has been used to help the District maintain its buildings and grounds over the last ten years. District officials want to make sure constituents understand how the upcoming ballot request will be used to make additional improvements on campus.

In Michigan, schools are able to use a Sinking Fund as a millage (tax) levied to support school

safety improvements, technology improvements, and the repair and construction of school

buildings and facilities. It is a “pay as you go” system that does not require a district to borrow

money or pay interest. During the last 10 years, the district has used its sinking fund for turf

replacement at Red Hawk Stadium, secure entrances at various school buildings, new gym

floors, repaving of district parking lots, LED lighting, as well as countless repairs to school

facilities.

The request on the Nov. 2 ballot asks voters to extend the current sinking fund millage for an

additional 10years. If approved, the district has plans to continue to make upgrades to its

facilities designed to enhance the experiences for students and visitors to the campus. Key

improvements in the areas of health and wellness, technology, and safety include:

  • Safety and security upgrades
  • Continuing to provide each student with personal technology
  • Adding fitness based features to our elementary playgrounds
  • Upgrading the tennis courts
  • Upgrading the baseball and softball fields
  • Adding a campus fitness trail
  • Adding pickleball courts
  • Replacing the track in Red Hawk Stadium
  • Replacing water fountains with water bottle refilling stations
  • New technology infrastructure
  • Replacing the Agriculture Science storage building
  • Updates to district signage

“The renewal of our sinking fund millage is vital to making continued progress on our comprehensive facilities plan,” stated Chief Financial Officer, Chris LaHaie.

The current construction bond approved in 2020 is addressing the district’s critical facility needs. However, that bond does not address long term technology, maintenance and other enhancement projects a renewal of the existing sinking fund will help provide.

“The sinking fund provides us with a savings account to use for necessary facilities repairs, andthis renewal would allow us to enhance many other important updates that were not includedin the 2020 bond,” LaHaie said.

The new sinking fund ballot language also allows for the district to use funds for technology and security, two categories that were not allowable when the sinking fund millage passed in 2012.

This language change causes the ballot to state it is an increase, rather than a renewal, of the existing millage. “Rest assured, it’s still the same 1 mill,” states LaHaie.

If approved, the tax would generate approximately $718,000 annually. Cedar Springs property owners with a home valued at $100,000 now pay less than $9 per month for the sinking fund

bit.ly/SinkingFundNov2 for more information.

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