Numerous proposals pass for school funding

OSCEOLA COUNTY — A majority of funding proposals for area schools passed Tuesday, with the exception of proposal 2 for the Reed City Area Public Schools.

Reed City Area Public Schools

Numbers reveal 904 individuals voted in favor and 644 individuals voted against proposal 1. Voters also rejected proposal 2, with 847 no votes and 697 yes votes.

Proposal 1 will provide the district with more than $3.8 million. It’s a zero-interest bond that will extend the current payment schedule from 2029 until 2031 without increasing tax rates. It will take care of deferred building improvements, safety and security, energy efficiency, educational technology and various upgrades, such as sports facilities and classroom repairs.

The second bond proposal would have provided the district with nearly $11 million, and would have been a 1.7 mill increase to taxpayers if passed. It would have provided funds for all proposal 1 projects and more, including a multipurpose facility at Reed City High School, improvement of athletic facilities, an expansion and remodel of the band classroom, expansion of the media center, expanding the parking lots at the middle school/high school and more.

Tim Webster, RCAPS superintendent, expresses his thanks to the community.

“Passing proposal 1 will allow us to catch up on foundational needs of our school. It will be a much appreciated shot in the arm as we move forward,” he said. “I must admit I am disappointed that proposal 2 did not get the support it needed to pass. I think most voters understand the need to improve the school, which, in turn, improves the entire community. The problem is that any time voters are asked to increase their taxes it is troubling and while 1.7 mills is only a $64 increase to the average Reed City property owner, small increases add up.

“I felt the board of education brought no-frills proposals to the community that gave the community an opportunity to improve, all the time knowing increasing taxes is a lot to ask. We are appreciative of the support we have received.”

Pine River Area Schools

Voters in the Pine River Area Schools district voted for a $5.8 million bond to improve all three aging district buildings, establish additional security methods and provide increased safety measures by upgrading floors, bleachers and parking lots. In addition, bond money would will go toward improving sanitation ponds and wells to ensure students have clean water and proper sewage disposal.

Voters approved the proposal, with 857 voting yes and 551 voting no.

Superintendent Matthew Lukshaitis is thankful of the efforts of the Committee for the Success of Pine River Area Students, the School-Community Planning Committee, the board of education and the supportive staff of the district for helping spread the word about the need for the bond.

"We are excited as a district for the overwhelming support of confidence from the voters," said Lukshaitis. "We look forward to creating a safe, dry and secure infrastructure for our students, parents and community. Pine River Area Schools is committed to inspiring students to achieve greatness and the passage of this bond proposal will assist in propelling our schools and our students towards a fantastic future."

Marion Public Schools

In the Marion Public School district, voters approved a $2.7 million bond proposal for projects at both the elementary and junior/senior high schools.

Poll results show 275 individuals voted yes and 259 individuals voted no.

The bonds will provide funds to replace the backup boiler at the junior/senior high school, install new temperature controls in each school, provide barrier-free updates to restrooms and locker rooms, add security measures to school doorways, upgrade technology and a communications structure throughout the district, purchase buses and more.

All election results are unofficial.