Vestaburg school bond proposal fails


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:02 am on Wednesday, August 07, 2013

VESTABURG — Voters in the Vestaburg Community School district shot down a $990,000 bond proposal Tuesday by a margin of 60 to 40 percent.

The proposal called 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. Proceeds from the bond would have generated approximately $990,000 — $750,000 of which would have gone toward replacing roofing systems over the high school, middle school and elementary school.

The final vote tally was 251 “no” votes to 162 “yes” votes, according to unofficial Montcalm County voting results.

Superintendent Jeff Beal said the voting outcome was a “good indicator of tough economic times.”

“We thank the voters that showed up and supported us,” Beal said. “Obviously we’ve still got work to do as far as the other voters. I think that we’ll have to re-examine how we’ll express our need the next time that we talk about it.”

School officials were hoping the bond would replace two school buses, one from 1991 and another from 1995. Beal previously acknowledged to The Daily News that “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.

“We still have buses that need to be purchased,” said Beal on Tuesday night. “We’ll have to go back to the school board and talk about what to do.”

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

In other Vestaburg-area news, a Richland Township millage renewal proposal was approved by voters with 228 “yes” votes to 67 “no” votes. The 1 mill was renewed over five years for fire department operations and will generate about $59,500 in the first year.

Only 15 percent of registered voters in Richland Township and Vestaburg bothered to show up at the polls Tuesday.

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