Approved summer projects will include O.P. parking lot

ALMONT — The school district’s 1-mill “sinking fund” continues to pay dividends.

Schools Supt. Dr. William Kalmar reports that sinking fund dollars will again be utilized to pay for a pair of projects to be completed this summer.

When the sinking fund was approved by voters in August of 2014, it was expected to raise about $280,809 annually for a period of 10 years.

Kalmar said that due to improved property values, that number has since risen to about $330,000 per year.

He said the upcoming projects will include “doubling the size” of the south side of the parking lot at Orchard Primary School and making repairs to the oft-used service drive between Kidder Road and Almont Middle School.

“We do a large number of projects with the fund each year,” Kalmar said. “The parking lots and service drives are just the big ticket items.”

He said past upgrades made using sinking fund money included repairs to the high school track, door repairs at the high school and middle school, plumbing repairs, light pole repairs and Orchard Primary playground improvements.

Kalmar pointed out that when Orchard Primary transitioned to a K-4 school, it created parking issues at dismissal and student drop-off times; as well as for evening events.

“This is even more acute when we have soccer games on afternoons and evenings in the fall and spring,” he said. “This lot expansion will help address that issue.”

Kalmar said school board members are also considering repairs to the high school and middle school bleachers, and adding rails to the high school bleachers.

“Fixing our service drive and addressing parking were two promises that our schools made to voters when the sinking fund was proposed,” Kalmar noted. “I am pleased that the Board of Education has been able to keep that promise.

“This is the last part of the project to repair the service drive,” he continued. “These projects and many others were made possible due to the voter-approved sinking fund. We want to thank our voters.”

Sinking fund

Sinking fund dollars must be utilized only for specific needs and uses.

They include repairs, replacements and additions and /or remodeling of district buildings.

Such items could include security, vestibules, roofs, paving of parking drives and lots, boilers, running track, lighting, and various other prioritized facility upgrades.

Bond vs.
Sinking Fund

A “bond” is a lump-sum dollar amount that a school district borrows through the sale of bonds to fund capital projects.
Taxpayers are required to pay the bond money back over a period of years, with interest, similar to a home mortgage.

A “sinking fund” millage is a limited property tax or “pay-as-you-go” option for addressing building repairs and improvements.

No debt or interest payments are incurred with a sinking fund.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.