Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DOES HEMLOCK'S MILLAGE RATE COMPARE TO OUR NEIGHBORS?
Most school districts in Michigan address facility and transportation needs with a bond or sinking fund proposal.
In some cases area schools have double (Merrill) or nearly double (Swan Valley) the levy that Hemlock has:
Merrill ... 7.83
Swan Valley ... 7.00 + sinking fund 1.50
St. Charles ... 4.55
Hemlock ... 3.90
HOW WILL THIS IMPACT HEMLOCK PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT?
If approved, these funds will help the district maintain our facilities inside and out with things like:
- Safety (e.g. service drive to K.C. Ling, additional security camera, etc.).
- Technology to Buses (e.g. offset general fund expenditure with technology, frees up monies for updating buses).
- Maintenance (e.g. roofs, boilers, HVAC, equipment, etc.).
- Efficiency (e.g. replace single pane windows from 1959 at high school).
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?
1 mil equates to $1 per $1,000 of your homes taxable value i.e. if you own a home with a $50,000 taxable value the sinking fund will cost $50 per year. This will generate approximately $400k annually to provide much need repairs and replacements.
WHAT IS A SINKING FUND?
It sounds like a funny name for something that is used to help a school district maintain and enhance facilities and technology. Under Michigan law, a school may collect taxes for a "sinking fund" that can be used for major repairs and renovations (as well as other construction)
WHO'S INVOLVED WITH A SINKING FUND?
A sinking fund involves many individuals. First, members of the Hemlock Public Schools Board of Education had to vote to have this on the ballot for voters to consider. Now, this matter is available for our community to consider. If approved by voters, it will continue to involve various stakeholders (in helping set annual priorities) and the Board of Education (annual review and approval of the budget and acceptance of bids). Much of the work will be completed through a bid process involving, but not limited to, area vendors and companies.
WHY A SINKING FUND?
There are very few opportunities outside the state per pupil funding for schools to secure funds. A sinking fund would help Hemlock Public School District maintain and improve facilities and technology for student learning.
WHERE IS THE DETAILED PROJECT LIST WITH EXPENDITURES?
This type of list is typical with a bond but not with a sinking fund. Given the duration and scope, we cannot predict everything we may need in the future. The general, big picture project list is developed and will be reviewed annually to identify that specific year(s) priorities for example if a boiler goes out, we need heat that would rise to the top of the list. The same thing goes for a leaky roof.