Vestaburg Community School
7188 Avenue B Vestaburg, Mi. 48891
Mr. Brandon L. Hubbard, Superintendent
District Web Site: www.vcs-k12.net
District Mission: “Vestaburg Community School, together with the community, will build a foundation for lifelong learning by providing an educational and caring environment, which embraces all.”
May 30, 2017
Dear Parent(s) and Community Member(s),
On behalf of the Vestaburg Board of Education, I am writing to inform you of a couple of upcoming millage proposals. As a result of the 2009 bond we were able to update and add to many of our facilities which have allowed us to provide a richer educational experience for our students. As part of our responsibility to our students and our community, the district is committed to being good stewards of the resources we have been so generously provided. As such, it is important that we are able to continue addressing our facility needs.
As many of you are aware, school funding is always an issue. What you may or may not know is that not every district is funded at the same level. In addition, not all communities are blessed with the same level of resources such as taxable values. In other words, some schools are funded at a higher per student rate than others and what is generated through taxes is not the same from community to community depending on the size and structure of the district. It is with this in mind that on August 8, 2017 voters in the Vestaburg Community School district will be asked to vote on two different millage proposals.
The first proposal is to renew the current millage levied on non-homestead property (industrial, commercial, business, rental, and second homes). The current millage is set to expire on December 31, 2017. This proposal does not affect the taxes of owner-occupied primary residences – for homeowners, an approval will cost you nothing! However, if it is not renewed, it would result in a loss of approximately $431,728 of funding per year or approximately $744 per student that would not be replaced.
The other proposal is for a Sinking Fund. A sinking fund millage is a limited property tax to fund major repairs and renovations to school facilities including, school security improvements, and instructional technology. The tax is levied each year and the revenue generated is used to address the most urgent building and site improvements identified by a school district. Sinking fund uses are limited by law to the construction or repair of school buildings, school security improvements, and acquisition or upgrading of instructional technology. The ballot will be asking for 3 mills for 10 years. This would be an increase of $3.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation. If approved, the millage would generate approximately $265,391 annually. This proposal comes as the result of three years of hard work by the Board of Education and staff creating a long term strategic plan identifying current and future needs of district facilities.
One of the primary needs to be addressed in the plan is the school building’s roof. While some of it was upgraded in the 2009 bond and renovation, most areas are beyond their life expectancy and are in need of repair and/or replacement. Furthermore, even the updated sections were done so with ten to fifteen-year roof systems and will be coming off warranty and will need to be updated in the next five to ten years. After cost analysis and due to the cost of replacing and/or updating the roof, the plan calls for the roof to be addressed by sections over the next ten years with a roof that will last the next thirty to forty years. In addition to the roof, there are many other needs identified in the plan that will continue to enhance the student’s learning experience including, but not limited to security upgrades, student instructional technology, parking lot repairs, bathroom repairs, classroom updates, replacement bleachers in the high school gym, and track repairs.
In an effort to keep everyone well informed on the issues, we have scheduled community meetings in the Commons on June 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm and July 26th, 2017 at 6:00 pm. In addition, if anyone has any questions or has a group to whom they would like information presented, please contact Central Office at 989-268-5353, and we will be glad to answer your questions and/or set up a time to meet. Your feedback and questions are welcome and appreciated.
Brandon L. Hubbard
Vestaburg Community Schools