Archived Story

Language approved for millage proposal

Published 8:54am Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Although the general election is still months away, the leadership of Dowagiac Union Schools has already begun preparations for a proposal for local voters.

The Dowagiac Union Schools Board of Education passed a resolution Monday that formerly adopted the language that will go on this year’s proposed millage renewal, which will go on the ballot on Nov. 4.

The language of the proposal is as follows:

“Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 18 mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Dowagiac Union School District, Cass, Van Buren and Berrien Counties, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 4 years, 2015 to 2018, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes?”

“This is not an increase, this is just a renewal of what we normally do,” said Superintendent Paul Hartsig. “We’ve been doing it since 1995, and the last one we did was in 2012.”

According to the proposal, the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is passed will be approximately $4.6 million for the school’s general operating budget, Hartsig added.

The board approved the resolution with a unanimous vote.

The seven-member body also approved a number of staff changes during its meeting, hiring two new teachers: Brittany Reist, who will teach physical education at Dowagiac Middle School and Union High School; and Jessica Adam, who will teach special education at Justus Gage Elementary.

The board also accepted the retirement of Oralia Cooper, the director of Pathfinders Alternative and Adult Education program. She will step down from her position in September.

This is the first meeting of the board in which Hartsig has participated  since he officially became superintendent on July 1.

“Things have been going well this summer,” said Board President Michelle Helmuth-Charles. “I know you’ve come along a little early this summer. We’ve been getting weekly updates, which we appreciate.”

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