St.Joseph School District Bond Measure (May 2010)

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There was a St.Joseph School District Bond Measure on the May 4 ballot in Berrien County for voters in the St.Joseph school district.

This measure was approved

  • YES 2,988 Approveda
  • NO 2,359 [1]

This measure sought to create a bond in the amount of $38,000,000 in order to help with furnishing, remodeling and erecting new additions to school buildings in the district as well as upgrading technology for classrooms.[2] The main use of the money will go towards improving school entrances and drop off locations for parents, ensuring who is allowed on campus is more closely monitored. Technology upgrades will be the next largest use of the bond money. The school projected the projects would take two years to finish, if approved.[3]

The school board noted that if the bond was approved now it would save the school district in the long run.[4] Supporters of the measure had gone out in force the last weeks before the election in order to ensure that residents are aware of the issue and are shown the proposed need of the school. The proposed bond would mean that homeowners of an $100,000 home would pay on average $200 in additional property taxes annually. The decrease in state funding was a predominant issue when the bond was considered by school board officials.[5]

Opponents to the measure thought that the school would do better to implement a sinking fund rather than issue another bond to pay for renovations to the schools. The sinking fund would not require interest to be paid and although the find would take longer to pay off in the end it would be less for residents. The head of the school board though notes that sinking funds limit what money can be spent on and would not benefit the district.[6] Opponents also noted the bad timing of the bond, more taxes are not what residents usually want to see. Though school officials countered with the fact that investments need to be made to ensure the schools are able to stay up to date.[3]

A bond issue had not been on the local ballot in over a decade and school officials now thought this was the best way to proceed in getting further funds for the proposed projects without getting more behind in needed renovations and upgrades.[7]

See also