Buchanan bond falls shortPublished 10:56pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Buchanan Supt. Andrea van der Laan was disappointed late Tuesday night after learning residents had voted down the school’s $19.5 million bond proposal.
The final vote was 1,139 to 956.
“It was pretty close in my mind,” she said. “I am not sure exactly what the issue is when you are talking about less than $6 a month to have two major upgrades to the community. I guess I don’t understand because it is the kids that lose.”
It is the second time in a year voters said no to a bond proposal by the school district. Last May, residents voted against the district’s $31 million proposal. School officials thought a smaller price tag might change the outcome this time. The district spent the past several months campaigning for the bond, mailing flyers, posting information and doing more than 40 presentations.
“I don’t think there was one more thing we could’ve done to get information to the voters,” van der Laan said.
The $19.5 million bond would have paid for extensive improvements to the middle school and Ottawa Elementary, and minor upgrades to the high school and Moccasin Elementary. It would have cost a taxpayer with a $100,000 home $5.42 a month.
“I don’t think the issue is dead,” van der Laan said. “We definitely have internet issues. We have issues with walls, we have to upgrade boilers and lighting systems, we have roofs that are leaking and we have limited funding. So, I am not sure where we are going to go from here.”
The vote was close in all but two precincts. The Buchanan No. 1 precinct voted overwhelmingly against the bond, 243 to 160, as did Buchanan No. 2, 236 to 149.
“If there is anybody in the Buchanan Township that would care to share their feelings on why they voted no I would certainly like to hear from them,” van der Laan said.
The only precincts in favor of the bond were the City of Buchanan No. 1 (226 yes, 223 no) and City of Buchanan No. 2 (192 yes, 185 no).
The remaining precincts all voted against the bond by a small margin.
“We’ll have to continue to do the best we can with what we have,” van der Laan said. “It is almost too overwhelming to think about at the moment.”