Will I be able to provide input regarding the design of the buildings?
Yes. If the bond proposal is approved, the community will have the opportunity to participate in the final planning, design, and implementation of the school buildings. A committee for each building would be created for stakeholders to participate and provide input and feedback.
What oversights would hold the District accountable?
If approved by voters, the District's Architect/Engineer would design the proposed projects and prepare construction documents and specifications for the projects. Once the projects are designed, the District's Construction Manager will assemble bid packages and publicly advertise and solicit competitive bids for all work. This is required by law, as outlined in the Revised School Code. This process ensures that the District selects the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. All qualified contractors will have an opportunity to attend a pre-bid meeting to obtain additional information and project clarification. All qualified contractors will have the opportunity to participate in the competitive bid process.
How would I know the bond funds would be spent the way they are supposed to be spent?
Michigan law requires that 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. An audit would be completed at the end of the project to ensure compliance.
At what point would the State of Michigan, as well as the local fire and police departments, provide input into the bond projects?
Each project will be required to be submitted to both the Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) and the Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) for both plan review and permitting. These agencies will review the projects to ensure they comply with applicable codes, before any building permits are issued. Building plans and specifications must be signed and sealed by a Licensed Architect/Professional Engineer before submission.
As of March 21, 2019, Michigan law requires school districts to consult on the plans for the construction or major renovation regarding school safety issues with the law enforcement agency that is the first responder for that school building. This consultation would happen after a bond proposal has been approved by voters, before construction documents are finalized prior to project commencement.
What about the previously approved Sinking Fund? How does that impact the District?
In February 2012 voters approved a Sinking Fund that provides approximately $600,000 per year for ten years for ongoing repair of school infrastructure and sites, and technology upgrades.
Sinking funds can be used for remodeling or repairing facilities, improving sites, structures, athletic facilities, playgrounds, or other facilities and technology infrastructure. School districts are not allowed to use funds from a Sinking Fund for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator or employee salaries.
The Sinking Fund ensures that operational funding remains in the classrooms for learning, teaching, books, and technology, provide students with basic necessity of warm, safe and dry learning environments, create efficiencies and long-term financial savings. The Sinking Fund is the means by which the District can protect the community's investment used by our students, staff, parents and community.
Projects completed with Sinking Fund dollars since 2012: • Football field athletic turf • Track resurfacing and striping • Playground equipment • Pavement work throughout roadways and parking lots • Resurfacing of parking lots at Beach, Middle School • LED light fixtures in the gymnasiums • Roof work at Cedar View, Beach, Cedar Trails, High School, District Service Center • Additional lockers at High School • HVAC replacement - new condensing boilers at Cedar View • Carpeting replacements • Secure building entrance improvements at High School, Cedar Trails, Red Hawk • Door buzzer systems at Cedar View, Beach • Install gym floors at Cedar View, Beach • New parking lots at Cedar Trails, Cedar View • PA systems all schools* • Exterior doors at Beach and Cedar View* • Blue Point Alert System* • Access controls on exterior doors*
*a combination of Sinking Fund dollars and Michigan State Police grant dollars
CEDAR SPRINGS PUBLIC SCHOOLS COUNTIES OF KENT AND NEWAYGO STATE OF MICHIGAN BOND PROPOSAL
Shall Cedar Springs Public Schools, Counties of Kent and Newaygo, State of Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Eighty-One Million One Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($81,150,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds, in one or more series, for the purpose of paying the costs of the following projects:
• Acquiring and constructing a school building and additions to school buildings and other facilities; • Remodeling, furnishing, refurnishing, equipping and reequipping school buildings and other facilities, including for security purposes; • Constructing, equipping and reequipping, developing and improving play fields, playgrounds, athletic fields and athletic facilities; • Acquiring, improving and developing sites at school buildings and other facilities; and • Acquiring and installing technology infrastructure and equipment in school buildings and other facilities?
The estimated millage that will be levied to pay the proposed bonds in the first year of levy is 1.88 mills ($1.88 per $1,000 of taxable value); and the estimated simple average annual millage rate required to retire the bonds of this issue is 4.95 mills ($4.95 per $1,000 of taxable value). The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years from the date of issue of such series.
If approved by the voters, the bonds are expected to be qualified for participation in the Michigan School Bond Qualification and Loan Program (the "Program"), which will make a loan to the School District to pay debt service on these bonds if for any reason the School District does not have sufficient funds available for that purpose. The School District currently has $30,905,000 of qualified bonds outstanding and $5,923,919 of qualified loans outstanding under the Program. The School District expects to borrow from the Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of additional borrowing is $1,821,234 and the estimated total interest thereon is $7,272,276. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 18 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.90. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in circumstances.
(Under State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and bond proceeds may not be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries, routine maintenance or repair costs or other School District operating expenses.)
If you have additional questions, please contact Scott B. Smith, Superintendent, at Scott.Smith@csredhawks.org or 616-696-1204