Howell Superintendent; Proposed Bond Will Not Raise Taxes While Providing Needed Upgrades
April 3, 2019
New roofs, security, and improvements to educational areas will be in the works if a $39-million bond proposal for Howell Public Schools passes.
When the district’s Sinking Fund proposal for infrastructure repairs failed by 28 votes in November, Howell Superintendent Erin MacGregor said he was asked by parents and the community to come back with a new one that addresses even more of the district’s needs. What he came up with a new proposal, that will extend the debt millage out 5 years, and allow for not only infrastructure repairs, but also safer, and more modernized schools. Board of Education Vice President Brent Earl said he feels this proposal accomplishes what many on the Board hoped for. Earl said that that what they really wanted to see was that taxes weren’t being raised, and they won’t be. Earl said there will actually be a decrease, year after year, but the rate will be naturally delayed because of the extension from 2029 to 2034.
MacGregor said the plan was very responsible and will still allow Howell, which has the lowest current debt millage rate in Livingston County, to pay it off before any of the other 4 districts. A homeowner whose house has a taxable value of $100,000, should see a $10 decrease in taxes each year.
The superintendent said this proposal is vital to making needed repairs on each of the district’s aging schools. Several need new roofs, some of them as early as this summer. HVAC units and pavement in areas also need care. The proposal would allow the district to add an interior layer of buzzer entryways to each school and allow them to build visitor entrances that pushes traffic directly into school offices. New STEM areas, and improvements to athletic facilities and the performing arts center would also be targeted.
If the proposal should fail, MacGregor said tough choices would have to be made. 80% of the district’s budget is in staff, and with new roofs a priority, jobs may have to be cut, which could mean for larger classroom sizes.
More information on the proposal can be found at www.HowellSchools.com/ForOurKids.
You can hear more from our interview with Superintendent MacGregor and Vice President Earl this Sunday morning on WHMI’s Viewpoint, starting at 8:30. (MK)