Bendle to have millage, sinking fund approval on May 4 ballot

BURTON — Voters in the Bendle Community Schools District will have to decide on continuing the current millage levy of 17.9586 mills on all property and the approval of a 2 mill levy for the district’s sinking fund to be put toward upgrades to the district’s buildings at the May 4 special election.

Bendle Superintendent John Krolewski said both ballot issues are essentially the same as the current general operating and sinking fund millages approved by voter in 2011, with some effort in the general millage to recoup funds lost through the Headlee Rollback which took the district’s 18 mills and adjusted it to 17.9586 mills.

While the state says the 18 mill proposal cannot be called a renewal, it is a continuation of the same millage approved by Bendle voters in 2010 – but because of the Headlee Amendment, that amount was reduced to 17.9586 mills ($17.9586 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

If approved, the new millage would be for a period of 10 years, 2022 to 2031, inclusive, and would be increased by .5 mill (50 cents on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) to provide funds for operating purposes.

The estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2022 is approximately $789,448.

According to the ballot, this millage is to replace the 18 mills approved in 2011 that will expire with the 2021 levy, and restores funds lost as a result of the reduction required by the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore that reduction.

In addition to the renewal, Bendle schools will also ask for a 2 mills levy ($2 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2022 to 2031, for the creation of sinking fund for the district to do construction or repair of school buildings, for school security improvements, for the acquisition or upgrading of technology and all other purposes authorized by law.

The estimated revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2022 is approximately $140,000.

Krolewski said the Bendle district, over the years, has been able to prove it is cost conscientious with its spending.

We’re not asking for more than we’re allowed,” he said. “It allows us to recover a little of the loss from the Headlee rollback because we’re asking for the full 18 mills passed in August of 2011.”

He said the sinking fund will allow more flexibility with what the district is able to do with those funds for capital improvements – specifically for security upgrades to the buildings and the replacement of technology.

“We don’t collect an exorbitant amount of money from that,” Krolewski said of the sinking fund proposal. “We’ll collect about $140,000 a year.”

The proposals will be on the May 4 special election ballot along with the Genesee County 911 surcharge and the Genesee County mental health millage.