Frequently Asked Questions
May 2, 2023 Bond and Sinking Fund Election
When is the election?
Tuesday, May 2, 2023. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available after Thursday, March 23, 2023.
What is on the ballot?
Registered voters residing within the boundaries of the McBain Rural Agricultural Schools will vote on a $2.15 million bond proposal. (1.0 mills for 8 years)
Registered voters residing within the boundaries of the McBain Rural Agricultural Schools will vote on a 3.0 mill sinking fund for 10 years, generating approximately $923,182 for 2023.
Why is the school looking at sinking funds and a bond proposal?
With sinking funds, you cannot purchase buses; with our aging bus fleet, that is one of our most significant needs.
How is a sinking fund different from a bond issue?
A sinking fund is a savings account into which a local school district can collect voter-approved millage revenue, allowing the district to pay cash for projects or repairs rather than borrowing money through short-term or long-term bond notes. Using a sinking fund, the school district accesses the money on hand to pay for projects as they are completed. Since the school district has not borrowed money for the projects, no debt is incurred, and it does not pay interest.
What restrictions are there on sinking funds?
Money generated through a sinking fund may only be used to repair, develop, improve, and purchase school facilities and property. It may be used for instructional technology purchases. It may NOT be used to buy supplies, buses (with our aging bus fleet, that is one of our most significant needs), or equipment or to pay for salaries.
How would a sinking fund help McBain Public Schools?
Existing significant repairs that need to be completed can be done through a sinking fund rather than a bond request. This allows the district to complete these repairs without paying interest on borrowed money. It would also allow longer-term planning and funding for major repairs and renovations while providing an alternative funding source for major facility repairs.
Why is the school asking for both sinking funds and a bond proposal?
As mentioned before, a sinking fund is pay as you go, and we are not allowed to purchase buses with a sinking fund.
We can accomplish purchasing buses through a small, short-term bond proposal. The bond proposal would also expedite the much-needed replacement of the community track. The community track is in bad repair and needs to be replaced. The district is also looking at updating handicap accessibility to the visitors’ side at the community track and replace the aged field irrigation.
Accomplishing projects and needs through the sinking fund and short-term bond proposal could save voters over $7,000,000 compared to solely proposing a long term bond proposal.
Why has the school district scheduled this election?
The primary purpose of the bond election is to meet the needs for McBain Schools. The bond proposal is designed to…
- Purchase 10 buses in four phases for the district students to ride
2023 – 3(three) buses purchased
2024 – 3 (three) buses purchased
2025 – 2 (two)buses purchased
2026 – 2 (two) buses purchased
- Replace the 30-year-old community track for use by elementary students, secondary students, and community members. The track replacement would also create a handicap-accessible path around the track to the visitors’ side. It would also replace the aged irrigation system on the field.
How will the sinking fund proposal affect students?
The sinking fund proposal will affect students in several ways, including…
- strengthen a safe and secure K-12 campus
- provide one-to-one technology devices (each student has their own device) for student instruction
- remodeling, renovating, and upgrading the learning environment
- create secure school entrances (keeping the historic entrance)
- roof surface replacement
- repair and replace the middle school gym floor (including asbestos abatement)
- replace classroom and hallway flooring
- renovate aged high school classrooms (keeping the historic entrance)
What will the bond proposal cost?
If voters approve the $2.15 million bond proposal, the current tax rate is projected to be 1.0 mills
What will the sinking fund proposal cost?
If voters approve the sinking fund proposal, the tax rate will be a 3.0 mills
If both proposals pass what will the tax rate cost?
If both proposals pass the tax rate will be 4.0 mills. 1.0 mills will fall off after 8(eight) years.
Please see the estimated tax rate chart linked HERE.
What technology is included in the bond proposal?
All technology upgrades included in the sinking fund have to support classroom instruction and enhance the learning environment. A primary focus of the sinking fund is to provide current technology (without paying interest) to students. To address this focus, the school district continues to assure that every student has access to a computing device (laptop computer or tablet).
What is the schedule for bond proposal projects?
Work on the projects will begin immediately after voter approval of the May 8th bond proposal. It is the school district’s intent to have all projects completed in about two years.
Will both the bond and sinking fund revenue benefit the McBain School District?
Yes. All revenue from the bond proposal will benefit the McBain School District. None of the revenue will go to Lansing or to any other school district or political entity.
If the bond and sinking fund proposals are approved by voters, will property values be affected?
Research indicates that real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that are perceived to offer a quality educational program and have up-to-date school facilities. All McBain bond and sinking fund proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s reputation for effectiveness and efficiency.
Can any bond proposal or sinking funds be used for employee salaries?
No. Bond proposal funds and sinking funds cannot be used for employee salaries.
What will appear on the May 2nd ballot?
Here is the exact ballot wording:
MCBAIN RURAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL
Shall McBain Rural Agricultural School, Missaukee, Wexford, Clare and Osceola Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Two Million One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($2,150,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor for the purpose of:
purchasing school buses; and preparing, developing, and improving the community track, athletic fields, and sites?
The following is for informational purposes only:
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2023 is 1 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is eight (8) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 0.93 mill ($0.93 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).
(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)
MCBAIN RURAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL
SINKING FUND MILLAGE PROPOSAL
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in McBain Rural Agricultural School, Missaukee, Wexford, Clare and Osceola Counties, Michigan, be increased by and the board of education be authorized to levy not to exceed 3 mills ($3.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 10 years, 2023 to 2032, inclusive, to create a sinking fund for the purchase of real estate for sites for, and the construction or repair of, school buildings, including roof repairs, for developing and improving sites, including parking lots, for school security improvements, for the acquisition or upgrading of technology, and for all other purposes authorized by law; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2023 is approximately $923,182?
A YES vote typically means that you support a proposal. Is that the case in this election?
Yes. Voters who support the McBain Schools bond proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the bond proposal should vote NO.
Voters who support the McBain Schools sinking fund proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the sinking fund proposal should vote NO.
What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?
The proposed bond projects cannot be addressed as proposed.
What will happen if voters do not approve the sinking fund proposal?
The sinking fund projects cannot be addressed as proposed.
Who can vote in this bond proposal election?
Residents of the McBain School District who are registered to vote.
Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting)?
Go to the Michigan Voter Information website https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/ or call the Clerk’s Office where you reside.
Do I need to update my voter registration?
You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State Office or at the Clerk’s Office where you reside.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
Registered voters can vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots will be available to voters must be available by Thursday, March 23rd.
To get more information about the bond/sinking fund election and answers to your questions…
- Call any of the McBain Administrators and or Board Members
- Call Superintendent of Schools Scott Akom at 231- 825-2165 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org