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Millage requests on ballot Tuesday for three Kent County school districts

Multiple districts — Three Kent ISD school districts are going to their voters with millage requests on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here is a brief outline of what they’re asking residents to approve. 

Cedar Springs Public Schools

REQUEST: Voters are being asked to renew the sinking fund property tax that was originally approved in 2012. A sinking fund is a millage levied to provide funding for school safety improvements, building and property repairs and technology improvements. Sinking funds allow school districts to take care of smaller projects and repairs as they become necessary. In the past 10 years Cedar Springs has used sinking funds to support projects including secure entrances at the high school, Cedar Trails and Red Hawk elementaries; a new boiler at Cedar View; new gym floors at Cedar Trails and Cedar View; and new LED lighting across the district. 

COST: The maximum amount the district can collect is 1 mill, or $1 for each $1,000 of property’s taxable value. This is not a new tax. 

DETAILS: Cedar Springs sinking fund information; presentation by Superintendent Scott Smith

East Grand Rapids Public Schools

REQUEST:  A renewed and slightly increased version of a successful 2004 millage. That year, voters approved a 20-year recreation millage that offset a variety of costs the school district needed to operate athletic, performing arts and classroom facilities for after-school programs. The new proposal is for 1.5 mills for 20 years, up 0.1 from the 1.4 mills in the 2004 millage. If approved it would first be levied in 2024.

COST: The owner of a $500,000 home with a taxable value of $250,000 would pay about $375 a year under the proposed 2024 millage, an increase of $80 from the current $295.

DETAILS: East Grand Rapids information

STORY: Recreation programs on Nov. 2 ballot

Kelloggsville Public Schools

REQUEST: Voters will be asked to approve a 22-year, $11.3 million bond. The bond proposal would not increase taxes above the current rate but would allow the district to make a number of educational improvements. These include the construction and addition of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) building at Kelloggsville High School; a new media center at Southeast Elementary; technology upgrades to enhance instruction and more.

COST: Approval would not increase taxes above the current rate, said Eric Alcorn, director of human resources, because when the district recently refinanced its 2015 debt it saved more than $2 million, allowing it to keep the rate at 7.32 mills.

DETAILS: Kelloggsville information

STORY: Kelloggsville seeking approval for $11.3 million bond proposal

Beth Heinen Bell contributed to this report

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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids, Kelloggsville, is lead reporter for Grand Rapids and also is the point person for the SNN Facebook and Twitter feeds. He hails from Exeter, Ontario, but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985. He is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop! Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both freelance writing and public relations work, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level. In the summer of 2019, he began his own freelance writing and communications business. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio

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