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Mesick Bond Proposal
Mesick Bond Proposal
Scott Akom
Monday, September 17, 2018

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Frequently Asked Questions

About the

November 6, 2018

Mesick Consolidated School District’s Bond Election

When is the election?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.  Absentee ballots will be available after September 22nd.

What is on the ballot?

Registered voters residing within the boundaries of the Mesick Consolidated School District will vote on a $13.7 million bond proposal.

Why has the school district scheduled this bond election?

This bond proposal is on the November ballot because the proposal was defeated by just 10 votes in May.  An analysis of the May election results indicates that many school district residents did not vote. The Board of Education believes that placing the proposal on the November ballot will result in a more representative voter turnout.

The primary purpose of the November bond proposal is unchanged.  If approved by voters, the bond proposal is intended to make Mesick Consolidated Schools a viable school district for this generation and the next.  The bond proposal is designed to…

  • enhance the educational program

  • provide the instructional technology students need to be competitive with others and prepared for the future

  • strengthen school security and student safety

  • protect the community’s investment by assuring that schools and school facilities are safe, up-to-date, more energy efficient, and more attractive to families

If approved by voters, projects funded through the bond proposal will affect every Mesick student and the entire Mesick community.   

The bond projects fall into four major categories:

1.  Remodel and upgrade the Junior/Senior High School

2.  Construct a K-5 classroom wing at the Junior/Senior High School

3.  Provide more instructional technology devices for students and upgrade technology infrastructure

4.  Enhance student safety and school security while right-sizing the school district for the future

Every project in the bond proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

How will the bond proposal affect students?  

The bond proposal will affect students in several ways, including…

  • creating a safe and secure K-12 campus

  • remodeling, renovating, and upgrading the learning environment  

  • providing more technology for student instruction and the infrastructure to

  • support it

  • creating a school district that is family-friendly and competitive with others

What will the bond proposal cost?

If voters approve the $13.7 million bond proposal, the current tax rate is projected to increase by 4.8 mills.  This is 0.1 mills more than the May 2018 bond proposal because of inflationary costs. It is still about 15% less than the bond proposal defeated by voters in 2017.

If approved by voters, the 4.8 mill proposal will cost a person living in a $65,000 home about 43¢ per day.  (This is a penny more per day than the May bond proposal.) Some residents will pay more, but most residents of the school district will pay less than 43¢ per day.

What’s included in the bond proposal?

If the bond proposal is approved by voters, the following projects will be completed.  

Projects related to creating a K-12 school

  • construct classrooms at Mesick Junior/Senior High School to accommodate K-5 students
  • construct a multi-purpose room (gym/cafeteria) at Mesick Junior/Senior High School, primarily for use by for elementary students
  • construct a new elementary playground
  • remodel and upgrade the high school facility, including…
  • roof surface replacement

  • track replacement for use by elementary and secondary students

  • window replacement

  • soffit/facia replacement

  • replace damaged materials on external gym wall

  • upgrade locker room showers

  • replace gym ceiling

  • replace flooring

  • replace corridor lockers

  • replace deteriorate counter tops

  • update bathroom facilities

  • replace furniture

Projects related to instructional technology

  1. provide students with one-to-one technology

  2. update classroom instructional technology

  3. upgrade technology infrastructure

  4. upgrade audio-visual equipment

Projects related to safety and security

  1. K-5 elementary students will be relocated off M-115

  2. create a secure entry to the K-12 school

  3. install additional security cameras at the K-12 school

  4. create safe drop-off and pick-up areas at the K-12 school

Jewett Elementary will remain open, but not for K-5 students.  The gym will be used for practices, and other portions of the school will be rented out for educational and community use.  In addition to easing safety concerns, this use of the building will greatly reduce energy and maintenance costs.

Will K-5 students be separated from older students in the K-12 building?

Yes.  After additional classrooms are constructed, K-5 students will be located at one end of the building.  They will also have their own cafeteria and gym.

Are there any benefits to having all students in a single building?

In school districts with a single K-12 building, there are opportunities for older students to tutor younger students and for students to work together on community projects.  We will explore how to take advantage of these opportunities in Mesick.

School districts with a single building have not experienced problems with younger and older students in the same facility.  Indeed, these school districts have discovered additional learning opportunities for both younger and older students.

What technology is included in the bond proposal?

All technology upgrades included in the bond proposal are designed to support classroom instruction and enhance the learning environment.  A primary focus of the bond proposal is to provide current technology to students. To address this focus, the school district plans to assure that every student has access to a computing device (laptop computer or tablet).

Will taxpayers be still paying for computers when they are obsolete?

No.  The Michigan Department of Treasury and federal tax regulations require that items in a bond proposal be paid for before they become obsolete.  Computers must be paid off within five years of their first use. If the bond proposal is approved, taxpayers will not be paying for computers that are out-of-date and obsolete.

Why is this bond proposal so comprehensive?

The November 6th bond proposal is the result of the Mesick Public Schools’ strategic facilities plan.  The Mesick Board of Education believes district schools and facilities are at the point where renovations and upgrades are necessary to enhance security and student safety, to support the school district’s instructional program, to help protect the community’s investment in schools and school facilities, and to help assure that Mesick graduates can compete with graduates from other Michigan school districts.

What is the schedule for bond proposal projects?

Work on the projects will begin immediately after voter approval of the November 6th bond proposal.  It is the school district’s intent to have all projects completed in about two years.

Will all bond proposal revenue benefit the Mesick School District?

Yes.  All revenue from the bond proposal will benefit the Mesick Public School District.  None of the revenue will go to Lansing or to any other school district or political entity.

If the bond 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 Mesick bond proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s reputation for effectiveness and efficiency.

What is a bond proposal?

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 bond proposal funds be used for employee salaries or
operating expenses?

No.  Bond proposal funds cannot be used for employee salaries.  They also cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses.  Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and, as required by State law, they must be independently audited.

What will appear on the November 6th ballot?

Here is the exact ballot wording:

BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Mesick Consolidated Schools, Wexford and Manistee Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirteen Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($13,700,000) and  issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:

erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to, and remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping the junior/senior high school; acquiring and installing instructional technology in the junior/senior high school; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping playgrounds, athletic fields and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2019, is 4.8 mills ($4.80 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).  The maximum number of years any series of bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 3.95 mills ($3.95 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district does not expect to borrow from the State to pay debt service on the bonds.  The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $-0-. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $-0-. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot  be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

•  YES

  • NO

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

Yes.  Voters who support the Mesick Public Schools’ bond proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the bond proposal should vote NO.

What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?

The proposed bond projects cannot be addressed as proposed.   

Who can vote in this bond proposal election?

Residents of the Mesick Public School District who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day, and are registered to vote by October 9, 2018.

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 (webapps.sos.state.mi.us) 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?

Registered voters can vote by absentee ballot if they meet one of the following:

1. They expect to be out of town on Election Day;
2. They are 60 years of age or older;
3. They are unable to vote without assistance at the polls; or,
4. They cannot attend the polls due to religious reasons.

Absentee ballots will be available to voters after September 22nd.  

Between September 22nd and November 5th, voters can complete their absentee ballot application and vote in one stop at their Clerk’s Office.  The whole process takes about five minutes.

To get more information about the bond election and answers to your questions...

  • Go to www.mesick.org and click on School Election Information  

  • Call a Mesick school principal

  • Call Superintendent of Schools Scott Akom at 231/885-1200, extension 3405 or email him at akoms@mesick.org.