The next local election will be a special election on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Voters in the city of Fenton, Fenton Township, Rose Township and Tyrone Township, who are in the Fenton Area Public Schools (FAPS) district, will be asked to decide a new 10-year sinking fund. The current fund expires Dec. 31. If voters approve the new sinking fund, the next 10-year collection period will start Jan. 1, 2020.
Why a special election in August and not November, when at least in the city of Fenton voters will already be tasked with choosing the mayor
and three city council members whose terms expire this year.
FAPS Superintendent Adam Hartley said, “Because of the current sinking fund expiring in December, we are placing the new sinking fund on the August ballot so we have an opportunity to go back out to the community in November if the August vote is not favorable to the school district.”
School officials are asking to increase the sinking fund millage amount from the current 1 mill to 2.25 mills. It is estimated the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2020 is approximately $2,110,292.
Along with maintaining quality facilities, enhancing school security and progressing in instructional technology, a new sinking fund will allow the district to equip each school building with new HVAC climate control classrooms within a two-year period.
Because citizens may now be automatically registered to vote at the Secretary of State’s office, and up to the day of the election, local clerks anticipate that their number of registered voters will climb higher than their current numbers.
With the passage of Proposal 3 by a 2 to 1 margin in the November 2018 election, citizens can be automatically registered to vote at the Secretary of State’s Office, if they want. It also allows a citizen to register to vote anytime, even up to the day of the election with proof of residency, and it provides for “no reason” absentee voting.
All of the local clerks say Fenton Area Public Schools will be required to reimburse their communities for the costs of conducting the election.
City of Fenton
The city of Fenton has 9,129 registered voters currently on record, according to Clerk Sue Walsh. She said the cost to administer the May special election (failed Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation non-motorized pathway proposal) came in at just under $5,000.
All city of Fenton voters are in the Fenton Area Public Schools district and all cast their ballots in the Activity Center at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
“We have 1,912 registered voters in Fenton Township that reside in the Fenton school district,” said Thomas Broecker, operations manager and deputy clerk. “I would estimate that the township’s total cost to administer the election will be in the range of $1,500 to $2,000. That does not include programming or ballot production, which are done and billed by Genesee County.”
Fenton school district voters who reside in Fenton Township cast their ballots in precincts four and five, which will be run as a single, consolidated precinct on Aug. 6, Broecker said. Voting will take place at Lake Fenton High School in the Green Room adjacent to the Band Room in the south wing of the building.
Clerk Debbie Miller said there are currently 1,331 registered FAPS voters on record in Rose Township. “But we will be getting more before the election because it will increase due to Secretary of State automatic registration,” she said.
The cost for the Aug. 6 special election will be “at least $8,000 in Rose Township,” Miller said. Because of Proposal 3, ballots and other documents have to be replaced, and election workers need to be paid.
Only precinct 1 will be voting in the Aug. 6 election, which takes place in the lower level of the Rose Township offices.
According to Clerk Marcella Husted, there are currently 4,489 registered voters in Tyrone Township, who reside in the Fenton school district. “I estimate the costs to Fenton Schools will be between $3,000 to $4,000,” she said.
Tyrone Township voters in the FAPS district are in precincts 2 and 3 and vote at Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church, 10235 White Lake Rd, Fenton, Husted said.