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Our District

Bond Proposal on May 2, 2017 Ballot

1.  Why is Oakridge asking for a millage increase?

Oakridge Public Schools is running out of space in its buildings because increasing enrollment trends, and because a few years ago the state started requiring all-day kindergarten to qualify for full funding.  This Bond Proposal will provide new classrooms and a new elementary gymnasium.  Funding is also requested to replace boilers and heating unit ventilators to regulate temperature and save energy.  Basic infrastructure such as roofing and electrical panels, that have reached their lifespan, would be replaced.  With bond dollars dedicated  to facility upgrades, general fund dollars would remain primarily focused on student learning.

2.  What is different about this Bond Proposal?

A Community Stakeholder Facility Steering Committee was formed to research and seek additional input from the community.  Based on this feedback and 300 respondents to a community-wide survey, the following changes were recommended by the steering committee and approved by the Board of Education:

  1. Due to improving taxable value in our community, this Bond Proposal has a lower millage rate (2.54 mills) than the prior Bond Proposal (2.86 mills) which reduces the impact to taxpayers (see chart below) yet it would generate more revenue ($10.77 million) for the projects than the prior proposal ($10.54 million).
  2. Demolition of the Carr School buildings is NOT included in this proposal.
  3. A new Senior Citizen Center is NOT included in this proposal.  The program is still welcome to use existing facilities.
  4. The size of the proposed new Lower Elementary gymnasium is smaller in this proposal.
  5. The Middle School auditorium stage area would receive some safety, electrical, and aesthetic upgrades in this proposal.
  6. The Middle School hallway lockers would be replaced.
  7. The Middle School hallway bathrooms would be renovated.

A complete description of the scope in the May 2, 2017 Bond Proposal is listed in question #9 below.

3.  When will the bond proposal be on the ballot?

The Bond Proposal will be on the Tuesday, May 2, 2017, ballot.

4.  What will voters be asked to approve?

Voters within the Oakridge School District will be asked to consider the Bond Proposal to raise property taxes by 2.54 mills. This would raise $10.77 million for facility improvements and additions.

5.  What will the cost be to taxpayers?

The owner of a home with a taxable value of $40,000 (home value of $80,000) would pay approximately $1.96/week, $8.50/month, or $102/year more in property taxes. The average taxable value of homes in the district is $40,265.

Impact to Taxpayer

Number of Egelston homes by Taxable Value

Who does the 2.54 mills impact?

6.  Does the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit (MHPC) Apply to this proposal?

YES!  In fact, you can use this Personalized Impact to Taxpayer Calculator  (http://www.pfmtaxcalc.com/oakridge/) to calculate your own specific circumstances.  You simply need to enter your (1) annual income, (2) taxable home value, (3) whether your are a senior citizen, disabled, or not, (4) homestead or not, and (5) township.  It tells you your total increased taxes owed if the Bond Proposal is approved by voters.  With the MHPC factored into it, some Senior Citizens or disabled residents may owe ZERO increased taxes.

7.  What Happens to Carr Schools in this Bond Proposal?

The Community Stakeholder Facilities Steering Committee reviewed the August 2016 election results, surveyed the community with almost 300 respondents, and deliberated on this matter.  The conclusion of this study showed lack of stakeholder unity and opinions were too diverse to include in the Bond Proposal.  Therefore, the Carr School buildings will remain as is for the foreseeable future.

8.  Why ask for a millage increase now?

During the Master Facility Planning Process, a committee of citizens, parents, staff, and administration identified concerns with aging facilities and infrastructure, increasing enrollment, and limited gymnasium space at Lower Elementary for physical education.  This committee recommended to the Board that these projects be addressed now.  The Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution stating that it is necessary and expedient to ask voters whether to approve this Bond Proposal.

9.  What will the money be spent on?

Lower Elementary

  • Adds an elementary gymnasium.  This building has the highest enrollment in the district and is the only building without a gym separate from the cafeteria. Third grade students would relocate to Upper Elementary to allow students in our GSRP preschool and Early Childhood Special Education Programs to vacate the Carr School site and join kindergarten, first, and second graders at Lower Elementary.
  • Replaces 2 boilers
  • Replaces heating units in classrooms and current cafeteria/gym/auditorium – link to floor plan
  • Replaces portions of the roofing
  • Replaces electrical load center/breakers

Upper Elementary

Middle School

10.  How will students and staff be impacted?

Funding would provide additional classrooms and learning space for Oakridge students and teachers. Similarly, the proposed new elementary gymnasium would provide dedicated gym space for physical education activities. In addition, the projects would improve the school environment, improve air quality and comfort within school buildings and help keep students dry with new roofs.  Lastly, additional parking for staff, parents, and visitors would reduce crowded lots and parking in the roadways and improve student safety.

 11.  What is the ballot language?

Here is a link to the entire ballot information including the legally required notices.  The question on the ballot is provided below:

Shall Oakridge Public Schools, Muskegon and Newaygo Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Ten Million Seven Hundred Seventy Thousand Dollars ($10,770,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor for the purpose of:

erecting, furnishing and equipping classroom additions to the Upper Elementary School building and a gymnasium addition to the Lower Elementary School building; partially remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping school buildings; and developing and improving sites?

 

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