At the regular December meeting, Hemlock Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution bringing forth a sinking fund proposal before voters in March 2020.
The Board of Education went back to the drawing board, reviewing all the pressing needs of the district as well as long term projections. The Facility Committee of the Board of Education recommended reducing the request to voters to 1 mill which is a 33% reduction from previous ballot initiatives.
The projected Board of Education plan is to utilize these dollars to address roofs, safety/security, instructional technology, and other needed repairs and updates. Although, the ballot language includes the word “construct” the intent is to replace existing roofs, windows, and HVAC, which is beyond a simple repair.
The district intends to host a series of meetings to help inform voters. The Board of Education is currently entertaining a resolution demonstrating support for the ballot initiative and encouraging voters to vote yes.
Superintendent Don Killingbeck said, “The ballot proposal is important to the future of Hemlock Public School District and hopes that voters become informed via the meetings.”
Some people inquire what is a sinking fund? It sounds like a funny name for something that is used to help a school district maintain and enhance facilities and technology. Under Michigan law, a school may collect taxes for a "sinking fund" that can be used for repairs, renovations, and technology (as well as other construction).
How will this impact Hemlock Public School District? If approved, these funds will help the district maintain our facilities inside and out with things like:
- Safety-addressing gaps in our security system, paving the service drive, and more.
- Efficiency-replacing items like the single pane windows from 1959 at the high school.
- Technology-addressing instructional tools that have reached their end of useful life.
- Maintenance-with items like - roofs, boilers, HVAC, equipment, etc.
Sinking funds are fairly common throughout the State of Michigan. Freeland, Swan Valley, Saginaw Township, Birch Run, Bridgeport, and Frankenmuth all have sinking funds.