2020 Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal Information

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To get additional information about the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal and answers to your questions: 

  • Call any Grosse Ile Township Schools’ principal
  • Call Superintendent of Schools Joanne C. Lelekatch at 734-362-2581 or email her at lelekaj@gischools.org

The official video presentation can be found on External LinkYouTube.  This video presentation was recorded during the February 25, 2020 Board Meeting. 

When is the election?

The election will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.  Absentee ballots will be available after January 25th. Absentee voting is permitted through Election Day.The election will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.  Absentee ballots will be available after January 25th. Absentee voting is permitted through Election Day.

What is on the ballot?

On the ballot is a five-year, one (1) mill Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal. The proposal is a request for a total of 1.00 mill (.0061 mills being a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution) and with .025 mills being new millage. If approved, the proposal will allow the Grosse Ile Township Schools to continue levying a building and site sinking fund millage which expires in May 2020.

What is the purpose of the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal?

The purpose of the one (1) mill Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal is to continue to provide revenue for the school district to make infrastructure improvements and repairs to the School District’s facilities or any other purpose allowed under Michigan law.

What type of projects will be completed if the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal is approved by voters?

Proposed projects to be completed fall into four major areas:

  • Enhancing student safety and security
  • Updating school facility interiors/exteriors
  • Improving the student learning environment
  • Updating instructional technology

How were sinking fund facility projects identified?

The project list was developed as part of the Grosse Ile Township Schools’ strategic planning process. Annually, school district officials complete an evaluation of all school facilities. The evaluation identifies short-term, long-term, and critical facility needs. 

When did the Grosse Ile Township Schools first establish a sinking fund?

The Grosse Ile Townships Schools have had a sinking fund since 2006.  The sinking fund was renewed on 8/3/2010 and again on 5/5/2015.

What is the length of time for the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal?

The length of time for this proposal is five-years.

What is a sinking fund?

A sinking fund is a pay-as-you-go method of generating tax revenue.  As a matter of comparison, a sinking fund is like a savings account into which a school district can deposit voter-approved local millage to pay cash for building projects or repairs as they arise instead of having to borrow money through long-term bonds.  Sinking funds are usually 5-10 years in length, are capped by law at 3.0 mills, and are not usually intended to finance major projects.  The Grosse Ile Township Schools’ proposal is a-one mill, five-year request.

How much revenue will the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal generate annually?

The Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal will generate approximately $627,500 annually.    

In previous years, what types of projects have been completed using sinking fund revenue?

Sinking fund revenue has provided funding for facility repair and replacement projects within the Grosse Ile Township Schools.   During the last five years, projects have included replacing roofs, improving HVAC systems, improved energy efficiency with the installation of LED lighting, and concrete replacement.  The Meridian project to correct the structural damage was also covered by sinking fund revenue.

What will the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal cost the average taxpayer?

To estimate your cost, go to www.gischools.org and click on 2020 School Sinking Fund Election.   Then, click on the tax calculator and answer a few short questions to receive your projected cost. 

The table below is a cost estimate for homes with a market value of $200,000 to $800,000. Per Grosse Ile Township, the average value for a home on Grosse Ile is $325,000.

For a resident owning a home with a market value of $325,000, the monthly increase is approximately $3.47 (see table below).

2020 Sinking Fund - Grosse Ile Home Market Values

If computers are purchased, will the School District still be paying for them when they are obsolete?

No.  The Michigan Department of Treasury and federal tax regulations require that specific items in a sinking fund (such as computers) be paid for before they become obsolete.  Computers must be paid off within five years of their first use.

What types of projects will be completed at each building?

Grosse Ile High School
 
  • Add additional security cameras
  • Update the boys and girls locker rooms/shower rooms/bathrooms
  • Install vape detectors in all student bathrooms and locker rooms
  • Replace carpeting in all office areas, conference rooms, storage areas, Media Center, hallways, and lobby areas
  • Replace the gym audio system
  • Provide network connectivity to the weight room for keyless entry
  • Replace cement sidewalks leading to the baseball/softball diamonds and football stadium
  • Install a sound/audio system in Auditoria
  • Replace roofing/exterior doors on football lean-to
  • Replace roofing on the northeast end of the building
Grosse Ile Middle School
 
  • Add additional security cameras
  • Update the boy the boys and girls locker rooms/shower rooms/bathrooms
  • Replace locker room doors
  • Install vape detectors in all student bathrooms/locker rooms
  • Replace carpeting/flooring in workrooms, Media Center, and Auditoria
  • Soundproof the music classroom
  • Replace receiving area exterior doors
  • Replace gymnasium storage closet doors
  • Replace the gymnasium audio system
  • Update electrical conduit in the gymnasium
  • Install additional keyless entry points in the gymnasium
  • Update the gymnasium HVAC system
  • Replace auditoria sound system
  • Renovate six (6) movable partitions and install conventional studded/drywall between classrooms
  • Install forced air system in all classrooms
Meridian Elementary School
 
  • Add additional security cameras
  • Replace windows in Room 119
  • Install a new sound/audio system in the Auditoria/Gym
Park Lane Elementary School
 
  • Add additional security cameras
  • Roof replacement and repair
  • Reconfigure office space
  • Install a new sound/audio system in Auditoria/Gym

Will all proposal revenue go to the Grosse Ile Township Schools?

Yes.  All revenue from the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal will benefit the Grosse Ile Township Schools.  None of the revenue will go to Lansing or any other school district or political entity.

 

If the proposal is approved by voters, will property values be affected?

Research indicates that real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that are perceived to offer a quality educational program and have up-to-date school facilities. 

All Grosse Ile Township School proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s reputation for effectiveness and efficiency.

What is the difference between a sinking fund proposal and a bond proposal?

A sinking fund is a collection of dollars from taxpayers that allows the district to address infrastructure improvements and repairs to school district’s facilities, the purchase of real estate for sites, the construction or repair of school buildings for school security improvements, and for the acquisition or upgrading of technology.  Sinking funds are usually 5-10 years in length, are capped by law at 3.0 mills, and are not usually intended to finance major projects.  The Grosse Ile Township Schools’ proposal is a one (1) mill, five-year request.

A bond is a State-approved funding process for a set scope of projects.  When voters approve a bond proposal, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds of the sale to pay for those projects in the bond proposal.  Bonds are usually paid back in 20-30 years.

In many ways, the bonding process is like a homeowner obtaining a mortgage and making payments over a period of years.

Can any of the sinking fund proposal funds be used for employee salaries or operating expenses?

No.  Sinking fund revenue cannot be used for employee salaries or benefits.  Sinking funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and, as required by State law, they must be independently audited annually.

What will appear on the March 10th ballot?

Here is the exact ballot wording:

GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS COUNTY OF WAYNE, MICHIGAN
 
BUILDING AND SITE SINKING FUND MILLAGE REPLACEMENT PROPOSAL


This proposal, if approved by the electors, will allow the Grosse Ile Township Schools to continue to levy a building and site sinking fund millage, the proceeds of which will be used to make infrastructure improvements and repairs to the School District's facilities and also to allow for the purchase of real estate for sites for, and the construction or repair of, school buildings, for school security improvements, or for the acquisition or upgrading of technology. This proposal is a request for a total of 1.00 mills ($1.00 per $1,000 of taxable value), which will consist of 0.75 mills ($0.75 per $1,000  of taxable value)  of the voter approved building and site sinking fund millage that will otherwise expire on May 5, 2020 with 0.0061 mills ($0.0061 per $1,000 of taxable value) being a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution and with 0.25 mills ($0.25 per $1,000 of taxable value) being new millage. Pursuant to State Law, the expenditure of the building and site sinking fund millage proceeds must be audited,  and the proceeds cannot be used for teacher, administrator or employee salaries, maintenance or other operating expenses.

Shall the Grosse Ile Township  Schools be  authorized to levy 1.00 mills ($1.00 per  $1,000 of
taxable value), for a period of five (5) years, from 2020 through and including 2024 to replace its building and site sinking fund for the purpose of the construction or repair of school buildings or any other purpose allowed under Michigan law; with 0.0061 mills ($0.0061 per $1,000 of taxable value) being a restoration of millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution and with 0.25 mills ($0.25 per $1,000 of taxable value) being new millage? This millage would provide estimated revenues to the Grosse Ile Township Schools of approximately six hundred twenty-seven thousand, five hundred dollars ($627,500) in the first year that it is levied.

YES:  _________

NO:   _________     

 

A YES vote typically means that a voter supports a proposal. Is that the case in this election?

Yes.  Voters who support the Grosse Ile Township Schools Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the Building and Site Sinking Fund Millage Replacement Proposal should vote NO.

What will happen if voters do not approve the proposal?

The facility projects cannot be addressed as proposed.   Any emergency facility needs will have to be covered by the school district’s operating budget.

Who can vote in this election?

Residents of the Grosse Ile Township Schools who are registered to vote and who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day can vote.

Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting)?

Go to the Michigan Voter Information website (www.michigan.gov/vote) or call the Clerk’s Office where you reside.

Do I need to update my voter registration?

You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted.  You can do this at any Secretary of State Office or at the Clerk’s Office where you reside. 

Can I vote by absentee ballot?

Yes.  Since voter approval of Proposal 3 in November 2018, registered voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot.  You can request an absentee ballot application from the Grosse Ile Township Clerk’s Office or by going online to www.michigan.gov/vote and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column.

Absentee ballots will be available to voters after January 25th.