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Bond proposals, millage renewals up for vote in six districts

Multiple Districts — Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 2) is Election Day for several Kent County communities. Voters in Caledonia, Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kelloggsville and Northview school districts will see school-related proposals on their ballots. Before you head to the polls or drop off your absentee ballot at the clerk’s office, learn more (or get a refresher) about the education issues you’ll be voting on:

Caledonia Community Schools

To fund remaining projects initially planned with 2020 bond funds, the district is asking voters to approve a $61 million supplemental bond proposal. If approved, the new bond would fund construction of a new Dutton Elementary, football stadium renovations, and other projects previously removed from the 2020 bond to cut costs.

“This is about completing the vision,” Superintendent Dedrick Martin said. “Over five years, no one saw the worldwide pandemic coming, no one foresaw inflation at this rate. The dollars we envisioned in the 2020 bond just didn’t extend as far as we needed to today.” 

Read more about Caledonia’s proposal.

Comstock Park Public Schools

Comstock Park voters will be asked to weigh in on a bond proposal focused on improving security, educational environments and efficiency for the district. Some of the proposed projects include parking lot improvements, exterior LED lighting, updating building access controls, improving air quality and technology upgrades.

If approved by voters, this bond will provide $59.46 million for such improvements, with an estimated zero tax rate increase over the current rate. 

Read more about Comstock Park’s proposal.

East Grand Rapids Public Schools

Voters in the district will see two school proposals on the ballot: a renewal of the current non-homestead operating millage and another operating millage proposal that would come into effect in the case of a Headlee reduction. Both millages would work together to ensure that the district can levy up to 18 mills in total. 

The operating millage renewal, which provides funding to support day-to-day school operations, including instructional programs, transportation, maintenance and staffing, would be renewed for six years. The new operating millage proposal on the ballot would allow EGRPS to offset any state reductions in funds and bring non-homestead tax levies back up to the maximum 18 mills.

Read more about East Grand Rapids’ proposals.

Grandville Public Schools

With the district’s current operating levy expiring in December, Grandville Public Schools is asking voters to renew its operating millage proposal for another four years. This operating millage would fund day-to-day district operations including instructional programs, maintenance, staffing and transportation. 

The proposal levies an 18-mill tax on non-homestead properties. If the renewal fails to pass, GPS would stand to lose $15.7 million in annual operating costs. 

“Restoring our operating millage to 18 mills would allow Grandville Public Schools to receive our full per-pupil funding from the state of Michigan,” Superintendent Roger Bearup said. 

Read more about Grandville’s proposal.

Kelloggsville Public Schools

The district is asking voters to renew the non-homestead millage that provides 13% of the district’s annual operating budget through the 2024-2025 school year. Restoring the full 18 mills will allow the district to continue the full levy permitted by state law and is projected to generate $3.7 million for operating costs. 

The money raised in its first year would pay for district-wide instructional programs and materials, and transportation and maintenance costs, among other items.

Read more about Kelloggsville’s proposal

Northview Public Schools

Recreation and sinking fund renewals will be on the ballot for Northview voters. Neither millage renewal would increase taxes for voters. 

The first proposal is for a 20-year renewal of a 0.6973 recreational millage for public and building playgrounds, including the Northview Community Fitness and Aquatic Center. The second proposal is for a 10-year renewal of Northview’s 1.1472-mill building and site sinking fund, a savings account the district can use for infrastructure projects and repairs. 

Read more about Northview’s proposal.

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is associate editor, reporter and copy editor. She is an award-winning journalist who got her professional start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate and proud former Chimes editor, she later returned to Calvin to help manage its national writing festival. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio


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