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Voters in Kent City, Godfrey-Lee approve funding requests


The Kent City and Godfrey-Lee school districts won funding requests on the Tuesday, May 8 ballot by comfortable margins. Here’s a closer look:  

Kent City
18-mill non-homestead millage renewal: 424 yes, 198 no
1-mill, four-year sinking fund renewal: 387 yes, 237 no

Renewal of the requested millages was essential for Kent City Community Schools to maintain its high quality of education and facilities, said Superintendent Mike Weiler.

Getting the word out to potential voters in four separate counties — Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Newaygo — was a challenge, but the work of school officials paid off.

“I am extremely happy with the results and somewhat relieved that our parents turned out to support our schools,” said Weiler when results were posted in Kent and Muskegon counties. “There wasn’t a large turnout, but anytime you get approval with nearly a two-to-one margin, it is very good.”

In Kent County the non-homestead millage passed by a vote of 346 to 160, and in Muskegon County by 71 to 30. Revenue from the millage generates $3.4 million annually or nearly 20 percent of the district’s operating budget.

A  four-year renewal of the district’s sinking fund that generates nearly $200,000 each year for infrastructure/facility improvements also garnered comfortable approval. In Kent County the vote was 318 to 189, and in Muskegon, 63 to 39.  

In Ottawa County, however, both measures failed, 8 no to 5 yes. In Newaygo County, with only one precinct in Grant Township, voters approved the non-homestead measures 2-0 and voted 1-1 on the sinking fund.

Godfrey-Lee

3-mill, 10-year sinking fund: Yes 126, No 73

Voters passed a sinking fund which will put new Chromebooks in classrooms, update other technology and fund facility maintenance and improvements.

“On behalf of the Godfrey-Lee Board of Education, I thank our community for their support and investment in our school district,” said Superintendent  Kevin Polston. “Once again the Godfrey-Lee community has demonstrated their tremendous support for our public schools. The sinking fund approval will make Godfrey-Lee Public Schools safer, more secure, and connected with technology upgrades, throughout the district.”

Funds will become available to the district in 2019 after the summer tax collection and will provide a sustainable source of funding for technology and facilities for 10 years.  

The fund will generate about $300,000 annually. It replace the current 1.9976-mill sinking fund, which expires this year.

 

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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