BURTON — Bentley Community Schools will seek a $2.2 million bond renewal in the May 5 election in which district officials will ask voters to approve a renewal (no tax increase) of a current 0.6 mills of debt which would fall off if not requested to be renewed, and will finance repair and renovations of infrastructure.
Polls will not be open May 5 for the election, instead, voters in the Bentley Community School district have or will be receiving absentee ballots to cast their vote from home due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
If approved, there will be no change in the current tax rate for Bentley residents. The $0 tax increase from the current levy is a result of a decrease in bond payments from the existing debt, said district officials on the Bentley website.
The proposal was developed after a comprehensive facility assessment determined the short- and long-term needs of the facilities, which were reviewed and prioritized by staff and community members during two community forums.
If passed, the bond renewal will allow for facility improvements, safety and communication, improved learning environment and athletic upgrades.
Facility improvements will include:
• Replace boilers and drinking fountains at Barhitte Elementary
• Replace water heater at middle school
• Replace sections of roof at middle and high schools
• Install automatic temperature control systems
• Upgrade parking lots
Safety and communication improvements will include:
• Install new fire alarm head end system and intercom at Barhitte Elementary
• Upgrade security alarm system at all buildings
Learning environment upgrades will include:
• Update instructional technology and infrastructure
• Update the science labs and media center at high school; improve the stage area at the middle school
Athletic upgrades will include:
• Upgrade field events areas
• Install new time clock per MHSAA guidelines
• Prepare stadium for home track meets
Burton City Clerk Racheal Boggs said with 5,395 registered voters in the three precincts – two in Burton and one in Grand Blanc – who live within the Bentley school district, her office had to prepare another nearly 4,700 applications and ballots beyond the normal number of absentee ballots.
The additional $20,000 in cost will be billed to the Bentley Community Schools district.