Northville schools to ask for millage renewal

Apr. 4, 2014  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News

 

Voters in the Northville Public Schools district will be asked to renew a 0.9978 millage at the polls May 5.

Mary Kay Gallagher
Mary Kay Gallagher

The school district is asking voters to renew the Building Site and Sinking Fund millage originally approved in 2011 and used to make repairs across the 10 district school buildings and other facilities. The 0.9978-mill request is a renewal and will not result in a tax increase for school district homeowners, a district spokesperson stressed.

If approved, the millage renewal will provide the district with about $2.5 million for each of the next five years from 2016 through 2020-the current sinking fund millage, also for five years, which will expire on Dec. 31.

“Strong schools are the foundation of a strong community and maintaining optimal learning facilities is a key piece of the puzzle in preparing our students to live and work in the 21st century world,” said Northville Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher. “We are grateful for the incredible support of our school families and community members who recognize the relationship between exemplary schools and strong property values, and who make the education of our young people a top priority.”

During the past decade, severe cuts in state funding for public schools has forced the school district to delay necessary repairs to school buildings in order to protect the learning that takes place in the classroom, she added. Since the 2008-09 school year, the district per-pupil allocation from the state which is the primary source of funding for ongoing operations has been reduced from $8,538 to $8,099, a $3 million loss in annual revenues.

“If approved, the sinking fund renewal funds will help preserve general fund dollars to accomplish the district’s core mission of instruction and student learning; enable students to learn in a safe, secure and healthy environment; protect the community’s investment in our school district buildings; and maintain appropriate learning facilities that make Northville a place that children go to school,” Gallagher said. “And, it will keep Northville taxpayer dollars in Northville!”

All but three Northville school buildings are 40 or more years old, and like residential and commercial structures reaching this age, major building system and site repairs are needed to maintain the district’s facilities, she added.

“These projects that would be paid for through the sinking fund renewal represent the same sorts of regular repairs and improvements we do around our homes in order to protect our investment and keep our families safe and healthy,” said Northville Board of Education President Cyndy Jankowski. “Our community has invested a great deal in our school district and the May 5 sinking fund renewal election is an opportunity for the community to protect that investment.”

A Facility Condition Assessment was conducted for the district by TMP Architecture, Inc. in late-December last year. The assessment was performed by a team of experienced architectural, mechanical and electrical engineering professionals who evaluated the current state of district buildings, and identified future repair and renovation priorities for school facilities. The team visited each building site and reviewed architectural and engineering documentation. While all the building and site needs identified over the next five years exceed the revenues that would be generated by the 0.9978-mill levy, the millage renewal will allow the district to address its most pressing needs, officials said.

These funds cannot be used for operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, or purchases such as textbooks, technology software or equipment upgrades, or replacement buses.

For more information about the sinking fund millage renewal, including a list of potential projects and answers to frequently asked questions, as well as voter registration and absentee ballot information, visit the district website at www.northvilleschools.org or send questions and comments to nps@northvilleschools.org.

 

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