2022 SINKING FUND MILLAGE

Goodrich Area Schools
November 8, 2022
Sinking Fund Millage Ballot Proposal

In Spring of 2019, the Board of Education hired Auch Construction and IDS Architectural Firms to conduct a Facility Conditions Analysis (FCA).  The FCA revealed needs across the district which exceeded $64 million.  It was decided that the best plan of action, that would place the least financial burden on our tax paying community, was to spread this amount over a series of bonds and levies to improve and maintain our facilities, upgrade safety and technology, and provide a 21st century education for years to come.  A long-term plan was developed.  This sinking fund is the second phase of that four phase, twelve-year plan.   

During the Tuesday, November 8, 2022 election, voters in the Goodrich Area Schools District will be asked to approve a 1 mill sinking fund tax levy.  If approved, this levy will create a fund, over a period of 10 years, to provide for improvements and repairs of school facilities. 

sINKING fUND

WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED
Here are some of the projects completed with our 2020 Bond monies:
  • Our Oaktree Elementary staff and students are enjoying hands-on learning experiences in their new gymnasium and Innovation Lab.  Many of our athletic teams are already using the gym after school for practices and games.
  • The beautiful new office at Goodrich Middle School now provides the building with a more secure entrance to protect our students and staff. 
  • Classrooms across the district are utilizing the bond technology upgrades which include new interactive boards, sound systems and teaching wall whiteboards.   The wireless network was upgraded and expanded to include an access point in every classroom and greater coverage in common areas.  Chromebooks classrooms sets were purchased for the elementaries and Chromebook carts were purchased for the middle and high school buildings.  Each teacher was also provided with a Chromebook tablet that will allow flexibility when moving around the classroom.  Every wireless device is capable of connecting to any interactive board in the district. 
  • New phones in every office and classroom allow 911 calls made from within the district to be traced to the room or location, saving precious minutes in the event of an emergency.  New bell and paging systems in each building provided intercom and emergency paging that will allow staff and students to quickly contact the office from any classroom.  Lockdown, tornado or fire alarms will trigger an alert across the building with both visual and audio alerts on the new hallway clocks. 
  • With the installation of new classroom door safety locks, additional AI cameras/intercoms, and NightLock door barricades, our buildings are more secure than ever. 

Additional academic renovations will take place at Reid, Goodrich Middle and High School, to help provide that 21st century education as we continue to renovate existing rooms in order to provide hands-on and collaborative learning spaces.  And finally, asphalt work will begin this summer at the High School and the Oaktree/Middle School campuses.

Please accept our sincerest gratitude for supporting the 2020 bond proposal and allowing this work to be done.  We hope that the examples above show that we have been good stewards of your tax dollars and you are pleased with how those monies are being invested in our district.

WHAT'S NEXT?

In the Spring of 2019, the Board of Education hired two firms to conduct a Facility Conditions Analysis (FCA).  The FCA revealed needs across the district which exceeded $64 million.   It was decided at that time that the best plan of action, one that would place the least financial burden on our tax paying community, was to spread this amount over a series of bonds and levies to improve and maintain our facilities, upgrade safety and technology, and provide a 21st century education for years to come.  A long-term plan was developed with the motto, “Safer, Smarter, Stronger…Goodrich Area Schools.”  The 2020 bond was the first phase.  Now we move on to phase two.

A sinking fund is the second phase of that four-phase, twelve-year plan.  During the November 8, 2022 election, voters in the Goodrich Area Schools district will be asked to consider a 1 mill sinking fund tax levy.  If approved, this levy will create a fund, over a period of 10 years, to provide for additional improvements and repairs of our school facilities.

A sinking fund is an account into which a local school district can deposit voter approved local millage revenue in order to pay for projects or repairs as they arise.  Sinking funds provide districts with a cost-effective alternative to borrowing through short or long-term bonds, because they require none of the associated interest costs or legal fees.  A sinking fund allows districts to have money on-hand to pay for projects. 

Sinking fund monies cannot be used for operating expenses, salaries, benefits, or routine maintenance.  In addition, these monies cannot be used to purchase textbooks or school buses.  The tax revenues generated are exclusively used for the purposes stated in the ballot language and shall have an independent audit conducted annually and submitted to the Department of Treasury.

If supported, this millage will levy 1 mill or $1.00 on each $1,000 of a home’s taxable valuation.  Over a period of 10 years this will total approximately $571,000 per year.  These monies can be used for technology and facility upgrades, and site improvements without impacting the district’s operating budget.

Once again, the generous support of the community through the 2020 bond issue generated funds to renovate our school buildings, address safety concerns, and upgrade technology and infrastructure.  Our outstanding facilities bring much pride to our community and greatly improve the value of homes in this district.  However, our $22 million bond supported in 2020 only addressed a portion of the $64 million of facility needs discovered in our 2019 study.  Reid Elementary was built in 1951 and Goodrich High School in 1963.  Even our two newer buildings, Oaktree and Goodrich Middle School, are now over 20 years old. Just like your own homes, furnaces, windows, roofs and air conditioning units need replacing.  This sinking fund millage would enable the district to continue to maintain facilities and safeguard the investment made by the Goodrich taxpaying community through previous bond issues. 

This investment will help achieve the district’s goal of a Safer, Smarter, Stronger…Goodrich Area Schools.  For more information, please visit our district website to access our Sinking Fund FAQ.  If you have additional questions about the upcoming Sinking Fund millage, do not hesitate to contact my office at 810-591-2250 or reach out to me via email at [email protected]


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