Voters Resoundingly Approve SPS Ballot Requests
The local electorate gave a thumbs-up to all four of Saugatuck Public Schools’ (SPS) five-year millage proposals, two renewals and two hikes, on the Tuesday, May 7 election ballot, according to unofficial vote tallies.
The different precincts of the Tri-Community, the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas and Saugatuck Township, all gave more yes votes than no votes on all the proposals.
”We’re absolutely thrilled to get this kind of support,” SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman told The Observer Newspapers Wednesday.
”We want to thank the people. It really does say a lot about democracy and the confidence people have in our schools.”
In an 837-to-288 vote, residents of the whole district approved the renewal of the operational millage, 1.3174 mills on homestead properties and 18 mills on non-homestead properties.
This local levy makes up 75 percent of the total SPS general fund budget, and will raise an estimated $5,578,820.
Individually in the Tri-Community, the operational millage vote results in Saugatuck Township was 350-to-105; in Saugatuck City, 196-to-78; and in Douglas, 206-to-78.
Voters also renewed by a vote of 751-to-372 the 0.25 mills that will be used to operate the Saugatuck Community Recreation program.
The vote breakdown In the Tri-Community for this ballot issue was: Township 318-to-135; Saugatuck 178-to-96; and Douglas 183-to-101).
This tax hike is estimated to collect an estimated $129,474 next year for Community Rec.
In an overall 659-to-462 vote, the electorate also approved $1.185 million in general obligation bonds to replace schools buses and band instruments, and install and equip classrooms with educational technology.
The vote tally for this ballot issue was: Township 290-to-163; Saugatuck 154-to-120; and Douglas 151-to-132.
To pay for the $1.185 million loan, the millage is expected to increase to 0.59 mills in 2013, with the annual average needed to retire the bond debt to be 0.5 mills over five years.
In a 656-to-465 vote, voters also approved a 0.5-mill building site and sinking fund to be used for building repairs and improvements to parking lots and security systems at the local schools.
That vote ended up: Township 288-to-164; Saugatuck 155-to-119; and Douglas 148-to-136.
The tax hike is expected to raise an estimated $258,949 in 2013. It is a partial renewal of the 1-mill sinking-fund levy that expired in 2008.