THE ELECTION GUIDE: Voters face multiple funding issues on the Nov. 2 ballot

Local school districts line November ballot with bonding proposals

More than $125 million on the line for Greater Lansing Schools


Five local school districts are leaning on new tax levies, bonding proposals and millage renewals to drive renovations, construction and other improvements for students in Greater Lansing. Here’s what voters in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties will decide in November:

Leslie Public Schools

The school district is leaning on a $20 million bond issue to school campuses. Its approval would trigger a 3 mill increase (or $3 on each $1,000 in taxable property value) for families within the district — meaning a home with a market value of $100,000 will see a $150 annual tax increase.

Plans include a new storage building, three school buses, new roofs at the middle and high schools, security improvements at entryways, air conditioning systems, an addition to the high school gym, remodeled classrooms and administrative offices, electrical and mechanical upgrades, new fire alarms and ceiling repairs and various technology improvements across the school district, including plans to purchase new computers, student laptops and projectors.

If approved, district officials plan to complete most of the renovations over the next three years.

Dewitt Public Schools

A bonding proposal is also up for consideration in Dewitt. If approved by voters, this proposal would generate $66 million with no projected increase in property taxes over the 2021 levy. The cash would also be spent gradually over the course of six years to renovate its aging facilities, update various educational technologies across the district and bolster extracurricular programs.

If approved, the bond funds could only be used for physical improvements and not for salaries, maintenance, repairs or other expenses. Plans include extensive mechanical upgrades and adding air conditioning to all learning spaces, roof and flooring replacements, parking lot and sidewalk repairs, new laptops and tablets for students and staff and security improvements.

Plans also include new turf, lighting, track and press box at the football field, as well as renovations to the baseball, softball, soccer and swimming facilities. District officials also plan to install new playground equipment, a band teaching tower and bleachers at the high school gym.

Voters approved a $25.2 million bond in 2016. This proposal is set to address the remaining infrastructure issues identified by the district over the next six years — with no tax increase.

Grand Ledge Public Schools

Grand Ledge voters will decide whether to renew an existing sinking fund millage for three years at a rate of .7921 mills — simply maintaining the current levy with no proposed tax increase.

The sinking fund — also called the Capital Improvement Fund — was first approved by voters in 2002 at a rate of 1 mill and the community approved its renewal in 2011. Headlee reductions have lowered the tax rate over time to its current rate of .7921 mills. Over the years, it has paid for school building improvements, roof replacements, maintenance of heating and cooling systems across classroom buildings, parking lot repairs, athletic facility upgrades and more.

Perry Public Schools

This Shiawasee County school district northeast of Lansing, which some Ingham County residents attend, is asking voters to approve a 25-year, $9.9 million bonding proposal to buy new instructional technology for several classrooms, replace the roof on two school buildings and install a new heating and cooling system at the elementary school.

Its approval would not increase taxes for families within the district, only maintain the current rate of levy of 1.09 mills, or $1.09 on each $1,000 taxable property value. Plans include remodeling, furnishing (and refurnishing) classrooms, new school buses, construction of a livestock barn, resurfacing at the track, new lighting at the football field and pavement repairs.

Fowlerville Community Schools

Though most students reside in Livingston County, portions of this school district dip into eastern Ingham County. And after its last bonding proposal failed in May by a few dozen votes, the district is back at it again, this time looking for approval to borrow up to $41.9 million for various renovations — including the installation of air conditioning at two of its school buildings.

If this 23-year bonding proposal passes, the property tax levy would stay flat at 0.9 mills, or $0.90 for each $1,000 of taxable value. The district also expects to borrow from the state School Bond Qualification and Loan program to pay back the debt required to complete the project.

Pots, parks and books also on ballot

Support City Pulse  -  Donate Today!


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us