Responding to the needs of aging buildings, heightened security and fast-moving technology, one-third of the Kent ISD’s 20 school districts will ask their voters to pay for school improvements next Tuesday, May 6.
Six districts are requesting either bond issues or building and site fund renewals for physical renovations and improvements, increased safety measures, technology upgrades and transportation.
The requests range from $3.6 million to $76.1 million over several years. Only two would result in actual tax increases, however; rates in the other districts would stay the same.
A seventh district, Kelloggsville Public Schools, is asking voters to renew its state-authorized, non-homestead property tax levy of 18.2044 mills for school operations.
One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. This means, for example, $50 on a $100,000 home assessed at $50,000.
Following is a brief rundown of the six other districts’ millage requests including some of the major proposed projects to be funded. More details can be found in previous School News Network stories on each district (links below)
CALEDONIA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Request: $41 million bond issue
Tax: 7 mills, no increase to tax rates as it extends the current bond payment schedule
Proposed projects: $28 million, new building for ninth-graders and electives, $5.9 million, buildings and grounds renovations and improvements, $4.5 million, technology upgrades, $2.6 million, safety and security
COMSTOCK PARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Request: A renewal of its building and site fund for another 10 years, yielding approximately $360,000 per year or $3.6 million total
Tax: 0.9984 mills, no increase to current tax rate
Proposed projects: Roof repair, parking lot repaving, new windows and doors; classroom carpet and student lockers at high school and middle school; possible team room and lights at athletic stadium
EAST GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Request: $30.9 million bond issue
Tax: 2.5 mills, an increase of $375 on a $300,000 home
Proposed projects: $16 million, facility efficiencies and improvements, $10 million, technology (purchases split between 2014 and 2019), $6 million, safety and security
NORTHVIEW PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Request: Renewal of its building and site fund for 10 years, yielding $667,000 per year or $6.67 million total
Tax: 1.2056 mills, no increase to current tax rate
Proposed projects: Renovating school entrances for security, roof repair or replacement at two schools, parking lot and landscaping improvements at all schools, new fiber optic cabling between Highlands Middle and High School
ROCKFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Request: $76.1 million bond issue
Tax: 8.5 mills, no increase to current debt retirement millage
Proposed projects: $50 million, capital improvements, $15 million, technology upgrades, $11 million, safety and security
THORNAPPLE KELLOGG SCHOOLS
Request: $6 million bond issue
Tax: 0.73 mill, an increase of $54.75 on a $150,000 home
Proposed projects: $5.3 million, facility renovations and replacements including security improvements, $1.7 million, technology upgrades, $700,000, transportation needs
KELLOGGSVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Request: Renewal of 18 mills non-homestead tax levy
Tax: Allows district to levy 18 mills on commercial properties and second homes. Homeowner’s primary residences are exempt.
Proposed projects: Funding will provide operational costs to the district. Allows district to continue to receive per-pupil foundation allowance.