Taxpayers asked again to consider school request

 

Almont Board member Rick Battani (left) VP Janea Smith and President Angela Edwards listen to bond information.

ALMONT — With little to no time to spare, the Almont Board of Education has met a critical deadline to have a millage question placed on the August ballot.

“We had our meeting with the State on (Friday) May 10 and had to have the paperwork to the board for them to take action on, by May 13. It was Due May 14. We made the deadline by a little more than 24 hours,” said Superintendent Kimberly VonHiltmayer.

A special meeting was held on Monday, May 13 for the board to take their action and meet the deadline.

After a previous school bond issue of over $58 million failed by a wide margin in February of this year, the board decided to make some cuts and try again.

Two hot button items in the first proposal, a proposed field house and a solar project, were taken out of the new request, along with other adjustments. Neither of the highly controversial projects are on the August ballot.

The new amount for a bond in Almont is just over $32 million. Voters will go to the polls on August 6 and cast their decision.

The second time around, voters will be looking at a millage request for two proposals.

The first is seeking $22.6 million and would allow for badly needed improvements throughout the district, including HVAC, roofing and other structural updates.

The second proposal seeks a little more than $10 million for additional classrooms at the lower levels, called a “Connector.”

If approved, the eight additional classrooms would connect Orchard Primary and the Middle School.

In the resolution that was passed, the board stated, “It is the opinion of this Board that it is necessary and expedient to ask voters whether to approve a bond project consisting of erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to the high school building; remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing and equipping and re-equipping school buildings; and erecting, preparing, developing, improving and equipping playgrounds, athletic fields, facilities and structures and sites; this Board estimates the necessary cost of the project to be Twenty-Three Million Three Hundred Eighty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-One Dollars ($23,385,921); and it will be necessary for the District to borrow the sum of Twenty-Two Million Six Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars ($22,680,000) and issue the bonds of the District therefor, the remaining funds to be derived from the investment of the bond proceeds.

The resolution went on to state, “This Board is further of the opinion that it is necessary and expedient to ask voters whether to approve a bond project consisting of erecting, furnishing and equipping an addition to the primary school building; remodeling school buildings; and preparing, developing and improving playgrounds, athletic fields and sites; this Board estimates the necessary cost of the project to be Ten Million Four Hundred Thirty Thousand Five Hundred Seventy-Nine Dollars ($10,430,579); and it will be necessary for the District to borrow the sum of Ten Million Fifty Thousand Dollars ($10,050,000) and issue the bonds of the District therefor, the remaining funds to be derived from the investment of the bond proceeds.

This Board estimates the period of usefulness of the improvements for which bonds of the District in the amount of Twenty-Two Million Six Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars ($22,680,000) are to be issued to be not less than thirty (30) years and this Board further estimates the period of usefulness of the improvements for which bonds of the District in the amount of Ten Million Fifty Thousand Dollars ($10,050,000) are to be issued to be not less than thirty (30) years.