Voters in the Fenton Area Public Schools (FAPS) will make their decision on a sinking fund renewal proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot. Only this time, voters are being asked to renew the current .8999 mills being levied for another three years (2020, 2021 and 2022).
The current sinking fund millage expires Dec. 31. If approved, revenue collected in 2020 is expected to be approximately $820,000.
On Aug. 6, citizens overwhelmingly rejected a new, 2.25 mills, 10-year sinking fund.
Superintendent Adam Hartley was asked: If approved, what is the most critical need these funds will cover? In other words, what is the first project the district will tackle?
“Sinking fund dollars are used to cover many projects within the school district’s six school buildings and other facilities, such as our board office, operations department and athletic complexes,” Hartley said.
“Sinking fund dollars are earmarked for both short term needs that arise each year such as parking lot upgrades and repairs and district wide long-term projects such as roofing upgrades (ongoing), flooring upgrades (i.e. all of AGS next summer) and the replacement of the FHS track and turf field (very near future).
Hartley also was asked to provide a description of a few other projects that require sinking fund dollars to complete.
“With over 650,000 square feet of facilities, we continue to repair and upgrade necessities, for example electrical infrastructure, classroom and exterior lighting, heating and ventilation, plumbing, and other costly repairs and upgrades that arise each year,” he said.
What happens if the sinking fund renewal fails?
“The sinking fund has been a key factor for our school district being a quality and safe district that both the school community and the Fenton community can enjoy,” Hartley said.
“This renewal maintains the same tax levy our community has supported for the last 20-plus years and is the core of our success in fostering a safe and quality learning environment for our students,” he said. “If the renewal fails, we would have an $800,000 gap that our general budget would have to absorb. That could mean the general funds set aside for staffing costs, curriculum and resource updates and other teaching and learning needs would have to be reprioritized and reallocated to offset increased costs.
“Our facilities would ultimately suffer as we have operated for many years with high expectations that our facilities be in top notch shape. This helps attract and retain families and is a source of community pride,” Hartley said.
Hartley said what voters will decide on Nov. 5 is not a tax increase as the renewal is a continuation of what our community has supported over many years. “We must take care of what we have,” he said.
What it will cost
If the voters renew the current sinking fund for another three years at
.8999 mills, the cost to homeowners will continue to be:
Taxable Annual value millage
$75,000 $ 67.49
$100,000 $ 89.99