Walled Lake Schools Sinking Fund Renewal on the Local Ballot
Half-mill, 10-year levy proposal would solely pay for upkeep on capital assets, such as parking lots, roofs and air conditioners.
WALLED LAKE — In the past eight years, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools has collected money to improve its buildings and facilities from voters. In the Nov. 6 election, voters will reconsider the proposal for schools to collect a levy up to one half-mill.
The half-mill levy ($.50 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) will, if approved by voters, take place for a 10-year period from July 2013-23. Officials estimate that it would raise around $2 million annually to cover costs of repairs to capital assets, such as such as parking lots, roofs and air conditioners.
Voters last approved a sinking fund proposal in 2004, said Superintendent Kenneth Gutman at the West Bloomfield Township Board meeting Monday. As the largest district by number of schools in Oakland County, Gutman said that needs have accumulated to the point of needing to ask voters to approve a renewal.
A resident within school district boundaries who owns a home with a $200,000 taxable value would pay $1 weekly toward the fund, should the renewal pass. Officials say that industry standards recommend investing 2 percent of building value per year in improvements and repairs to capital assets — $6.355 million for Walled Lake this year.
Officials say that they can't use the funds for routine maintenance. A 2012 sinking fund budget provided by the district showed large scale projects at buildings around the district, including barrier-free accesses, doors, and fencing totaling $2.43 million.
Schools also cannot use the money on technology or computers, furniture, buses or employee salaries or benefits.