School district to ask for $117 million bond

Feb. 21, 2013  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.


Voters in the Plymouth Canton School district will be asked to approve a $114 million bond measure on May 7.

The May date allows the school district to retain the 4.1 mill school levy currently paid by residents of the district. The funds will be used, according to the board members and administrators, to replace Central Middle School and for technological upgrades in the classrooms.

The measure was not without some controversy among the school district trustees, however, and the decision was by a 4-3 vote.

The board members, including Kim Crouch, who was appointed to the board the same night as the meeting to fill the vacancy left when Barry Simescu resigned, heard lengthy and detailed presentations about technology including a proposal to supply computer devices for all teachers and students in the district during the next five years. There was also pro- longed discussion regarding the timing of the bond election.

Brodie Killian, the executive director of business services for the district, told the trustees that if the bond election was delayed, the district could only ask for $80 million without raising the millage rate.

Judy Mardigian, vice president of the board, cast one of the no votes on the measure but said she was in support of the proposed construction and upgrades. She said her no vote was predicated on the aggressive timetable of the election. She said she was concerned about the ability of the board to persuade voters to approve the millage in such a short time. Mardigian served on the board during two failed mill- age votes in 2006 and 2007.

Mardigian’s concerns were echoed by trustee Mike Maloney, who also voted no on the bond.

Maloney said that he was not comfortable with the issue and still had a lot of questions. He said that he was not ready to answer questions that the residents and taxpayers might ask about the issue.

The other no vote was cast by trustee Mark Horvath.

Jeanne Farina, assistant superintendent for instructional services said that the teachers and administrators were in favor of the new technology plans which would cost about 415 million of the proposed bond. She told the board members that this was “absolutely the right thing to do in light of the Michigan standardized testing which is relying more and more on technology.”

Crouch, board president John Barrett, secretary Adrienne Davis and treasurer Sheila Paton cast the majority votes for the May 7 bond election.

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