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Cedar Springs Public Schools are asking voters to renew tax millage for facility repairs, technology upgrades, and other expenditures

Cedar Springs Public Schools are asking voters to renew tax millage for facility repairs, technology upgrades, and other expenditures

Cedar Springs Public Schools is urging citizens to consider renewing a 1-mill sinking fund millage that would continue funding capital projects like facility improvements and technology upgrades for the next ten years.

The 1-mill proposal for a 10 year period, 2022 to 2031, will be put on the ballot in the Tuesday, Nov. 2 election. The district's estimated income would be approximately $719,519 if approved and levied in 2022.

The millage would cost roughly $100 more per year in taxes for a $200,000 home, according to Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith.

Smith said the millage would help the district pay for infrastructure needs such as repairs, security, and technology.

According to the district website, some of the projects funded by the millage would include a campus fitness trail, new pickle ball courts, track and field improvements, tennis courts upgrades, school signage, and water bottle refilling stations.

It would also help the school maintain a 1-to-1 student-device ratio. It will cost about $225,000 each year for the district to buy new Chromebooks for students each time, according to Smith.

A sinking fund is a savings account in which school districts can hold on to voter-approved tax dollars to pay for repairs or projects without having to borrow money through obligation, according to Smith.

By paying for repair projects through a sinking fund, the district doesnt have to pull funding from the general fund budget, which would take money away from classrooms, according to Smith.

Smith stated, If you dont have a sinking fund, then youve only got two other options. Either you dont fix the problem, or you take money out of your general fund, and that can put districts in a bind, because you won t have those funds available to pay for interventionists, teachers, new curriculum, etc.

Cedar Springs voters in 2012 approved the 10-year, 1-mill sinking fund millage the district wants renewed by a slim 40 votes margin. Sinking funds are a popular method among school districts in the region because it is essentially remitting money as you go, which doesnt require borrowing money or paying interest.

According to the district website, the sinking fund has helped finance projects like turf replacement and track resurfacing at Red Hawk Stadium, new parking lots at Cedar Springs High School, and new garages and gym floors at both Cedar Trails Elementary and Cedar View elementary schools, as well as new LED lighting across the school district.

Smith said the proposed sinking fund is different from the 30-year, $68 million bond proposal that district voters approved in the August election. That bond was focused on enhancing the student-classroom experience by constructing new classrooms and upgrading educational technology, he said.

The sinking fund millage will help support areas that weren't addressed in the 2020 bond, such as maintaining districtwide 1-to-1 technology, updating signage, and replacing the track.

This month, the district is hosting virtual informational meetings where voters may ask the superintendent any questions they may have about the sinking fund proposal.

Below are the dates, times, and URLs to the virtual meetings, which will take place via Zoom.

  • Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 at 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021 at 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at 8 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at 7 p.m.

For more information, please visit the district website at csredhawks.org/Sinking-Fund-Millage-Proposal/.

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