- Sponsorship -

Superintendent: millage renewal approvals ‘essential’ for district

Non-homestead tax, sinking fund on May 8 ballot


Kent City voters will be asked to approve two millage renewals at the polls next Tuesday, May 8.

Both the district’s non-homestead millage — which funds more than 20 percent of the district’s operating budget — and a 1-mill sinking fund expire at the end of this year.

Both requests are for four years, and would provide critical funding for the district, officials say.

‘If we repair a roof, you can’t see it, but if the roof leaks, you know it.’ — Superintendent Mike Weiler  

The non-homestead millage, if approved, will allow the district to continue to levy 18 mills, the maximum allowed since Proposal A went into effect in 1994. The levy will not increase taxes for most residents, since it only applies to second homes and commercial properties.

“It allows our district to collect the full amount of revenue necessary to fund the education of the 1,356 students who attend our schools,” said Superintendent Mike Weiler. The millage generates approximately $3.4 million annually. Losing that income would result in “nearly a catastrophic situation” for the district, said Weiler.

Staying in shape

The second issue on the ballot is renewal of the 1-mill sinking fund. The district is asking residents for another four years for the millage, which has been in place since 1997.

Sinking funds are designed for facilities upkeep and infrastructure upgrades, and cannot be used for day-to-day operations such as salaries and benefits.

The millage has generated approximately $190,000 per year. “I think the district has put the funds to good use over the past 10 years,” Weiler said. On the to-do list coming up are a new roof, new parking lot and new boiler.

Related: District asks millage increase for improved facilities, technology

The district website lists completed projects with their costs from past years, including roof repairs, boiler replacements, classroom carpet replacement, upgraded HVAC, athletic facility fencing, additional parking, bleacher repairs, and upgraded security throughout the district.

“The completion of these projects has allowed us to continue to operate the district in the most cost efficient manner, as well as to allow us to benefit from the improvements that it has made for our staff, students, and community,” said Weiler.

“You can’t always see infrastructure improvements, but they are important,” he added. “If we repair a roof, you can’t see it, but if the roof leaks, you know it. If we put in a new boiler no one notices, but if one doesn’t work, they sure do.”

Getting out the vote

The district is asking for renewal of the two millages in the May election so if unsuccessful in either request, officials have another chance to make their appeal before the current levies expire at the end of 2018.

“These are essential for our district,” Weiler said. “If we are not successful we will be able to come back and do a better job of explaining them to the public.”

- Sponsorship -
Janice Holst
Janice Holst
Janice Holst is a reporter covering Kent City and Sparta. She has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and enjoys spending some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio or email Janice.

LATEST ARTICLES

Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

CARES Funds help district hire school nurse

A community member who has worked with students before is helping navigate the pandemic...

At-home learners stay connected through a new resource

In late October, Kent City Elementary opened a designated room to give families who have chosen virtual education extra resources and support...

Mapping the road to learning

Elementary teachers Billie Freeland and Nicole Andreas are at the forefront of using a curriculum designed to further educational goals, regardless of whether students are in person or online...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS