School district may ask voters to OK bond
Jun. 28, 2017 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
A citizens committee has recommended the Northville Public Schools ask voters to approve $100 million bond issue during the upcoming November election.
The committee, co-chaired by Steve Banchero and Suzanne Lynn, also included parents, students, school personnel and community residents. The group spent three months looking at the current school conditions and needs before making the recommendation at the June 6 meeting of the Northville Board of Education members.
With the decrease in debt millage, projected to drop from 3.64 mills to 3.22 mills in 2019 and then to 1.9 mills in 2020, the proposed bond would be affordable, according to school officials and eventually be offset by the full repayment of the debt in the 2023 tax year.
Currently, Northville property owners pay about $3.64 for every $1,000 of taxable value.
Banchero told the members of the school board that an opportunity for a capital improvement program of this magnitude without a millage increase is uncommon.
The program as proposed would include nearly $40 million to renovate and reconstruct Hillside Middle School, using the site and part of the current building but expanding west from the current school. The building dates to 1959 when it was built as Northville High School.
Updates, improvements and equipment were estimated at about $23 million including $4 million for new buses; $2.67 million for the transportation facility and $8 million for renovations at Old Village School which will be converted into the central office for the district, along with an early childhood center. The proposal includes $13.77 million in expansion plans for dining, multipurpose and fitness space at Northville High School.
Bond costs and interest are estimated at $4.3 million.
The plan includes infrastructure renovations, program improvements and security upgrades at every school building.
A hired pollster, John Cavanaugh of EPIC-MRA reported to the board members that results of a May survey of 300 voters in the school district indicated that 76 percent of them supported a $105 million school bond proposal. He said that 62 percent of those surveyed responded with strong support while 14 percent responded that they were somewhat in favor or leaning toward approval of the proposal. Ten percent of respondents, he said, were against the proposal and another 4 percent were leaning toward voting no. He said that 10 percent of those surveyed responded that they were undecided on the question.
The school board members have until Aug. 1 to approve ballot language if the question is to be on the November ballot.