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Grand Haven Area Public Schools to bring bond proposals to voters | Families

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Grand Haven Area Public Schools to bring bond proposals to voters
Grand Haven Area Public Schools to bring bond proposals to voters

---------------------------NEWS RELEASE------------------------

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (Grand Haven Area Public Schools)-- The Grand Haven Area Public Schools Board of Education has approved placing two bond proposals on the May 6 ballot, asking for support for technology, safety and security, and facility improvements.

The first bond proposal provides 1-to-1 technology and infrastructure improvements in all district buildings, provides resources for roof and bus replacements, provides safety and security upgrades, as well as student learning equipment for approximately the next 10 years.

The cost for Bond Proposal 1 is $35.5 million. Passage of this proposal would not increase the current mill rate for voters because of the strong taxable value of the district and previous bond debts will be paid off. These factors will result in no increase to the current bond mill rate.

"We are extremely fortunate to be able to generate a large amount of revenue with no impact on taxpayers," GHAPS Superintendent Keith Konarska says. "This affords us the opportunity to relieve pressure off the general fund, which is critical during these tough financial times."

The second bond proposal allows for district-wide fencing, asbestos removal, improved traffic areas at Grand Haven High School and Lakeshore Middle School, athletic improvements (including repurposing and expanding space), and arts improvements (including repurposing and expanding space).

The cost for Bond Proposal 2 is $9.5 million. Passage of Proposal 2 would increase the current mill rate by 0.47 mills for approximately 10 years.

Passage of Proposal 2 would mean $23.50 annual cost to a taxpayer with a home market value of $100,000. For taxpayers with a home market value of $200,000, the annual increase would be $47.

"It was extremely important for us to provide our voters options, which is what they have come to expect," Konarska says. "We packaged these proposals in a way that minimizes impact on taxpayers, while maximizing the investment in educational facilities and programs."

Konarska adds that the district currently has the lowest tax levy in the county.

"Even with the passage of both proposals, our district will continue to have the lowest tax levy," Konarska adds. "I believe this demonstrates that we are extremely responsible with our taxpayer dollars."

Three community members will lead a citizens campaign committee, and include: Jeff Beswick, parent; Patrick Moran, parent; and Sandy Huber, GHAPS retiree.

In addition to the two bond proposals, voters will see the annual Non-Principal Residence Renewal item, which is the annual renewal of the 18 mills on non-principal residence and non-exempt properties. This means a continuation of over $17.3 million in revenue needed to maintain district programs and services.

Konarska says he will now spend the next several weeks meeting with staff, parents, booster groups and service organizations, to educate voters on the details of all ballot items.