Voters reject $5.2 million bond proposal for Marion Public Schools

MARION — Officials within the Marion Public School District will have to discover other ways to provide necessary upgrades to their buildings or put plans on hold, following the rejection of a $5.2 million millage during the May 5 election.

Unofficial county election results say 1,572 people voted on the millage, with 706 voting yes and 866 voting no.

"I really don't have a comment at this time," said superintendent Mort Meier about the results.

According to ballot language, the millage would have cost district residents $1.75 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation for 16 years. The funds would have helped the high/middle school update its heating system, renovate locker rooms, remodel and upgrade the kitchens and coolers at each school, create secure entrances into the buildings for additional safety and provide technological upgrades. The millage also would have provided the district with money to  replace unfit school buses and build an elongated car port for the buses to sit under for protection against the elements.

The MPS district extends into townships in Clare and Osceola counties and has a total of about 500 students with two buildings. The elementary school was built in the 1930s, while the middle/high school was built in the 1960s. The age of the buildings' facilities and utilities was a major concern for Meier and will continue to be until upgrading can happen.