Vestaburg Community School seeks Aug. 6 bond approval


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 7:51 am on Monday, June 17, 2013

VESTABURG — Voters in the Vestaburg Community School district will be asked whether to approve a bond proposal this summer.

The proposal calls for a 1.3 mill increase, which would cost an average homeowner in the district $48 per year for 10 years to fund improvements to buses and roofs at the school. The bond proposal will be on the Aug. 6 ballot.

It is expected that the proceeds from the bond will generate approximately $990,000 — $750,000 of which will go toward replacing roofing systems over the high school, middle school and elementary school.

It is expected that the proceeds from the bond will generate approximately $990,000 — $750,000 of which will go toward replacing roofing systems over the high school, middle school and elementary school. — Courtesy photo

“That is money that we don’t have and can’t generate without the support of the voters,” said Superintendent Jeff Beal. “There is no mechanism at the state level for repairing or maintaining the infrastructure of our facilities.”

Currently, Vestaburg Community School has seven different roofing systems dating back to the 1980s and as recently as the 2009 bond.

“Obviously, we will not be replacing the roof that was put in with the 2009 bond, but the rest of the roof has hit a point where we have to do something. Delaying will cost the district much more in the long run,” Beal noted.

Beal said the bond proposal is ”crucial for maintaining our facilities and protecting the investment in our community. Over time, the insulation on the roofs has broken down and fasteners have poked their way up through the rubber membrane that protects the roof. This has allowed water to seep in and threatens to break down the decking underneath.”

In addition, the bond would replace two school buses, one from 1991 and another from 1995. Beal acknowledges “many of us own cars that date back into the ‘90s, but few of those cars carry 70 students back and forth to school every day. The Michigan winters and dirt roads have taken their toll on these buses and they are needed to continue to provide safe travel for our kids.”

An informational community forum about the bond proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, in the high school commons area.

Beal said he is optimistic that the community will continue to provide for needs of the children and the district’s largest employer.

“It is a great time for us to borrow,” he said. “With interest rates at or near all-time lows, I have been informed that we can borrow the money needed to maintain our facilities at roughly 2 to 3 percent, saving the taxpayers money and allowing us to stretch the proceeds further.”

Beal welcomes community members to direct bond questions to him. Additional information, including a calculator that will allow homeowners to accurately determine the effect of the bond on their taxes, as well as specific details about the proposed projects, can be found at online at vcs-k12.net, underneath the “2013 bond” tab.

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