Schools eyeing millage renewal

Published 10:47 pm Monday, July 23, 2012

Among several options voters will have to decide Aug. 7, one of them will include the millage renewal of Cassopolis schools’ sinking fund.

The millage is set at .8379, which will produce $315,000 annually for 10 years if approved on next month’s ballot. The sinking fund allows for a range of repairs to the district’s school buildings, something Supt. Tracy Hertsel said is needed for Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School.

“A lot of people still see the high school as a new school,” Hertsel. “But in reality, the building is almost 36 years old and in need of some repairs.”

Hertsel said, if the millage renewal is passed, some of the first items on the district’s repair list will include an upgrade to bathrooms, signage, renovation at the stadium and the high school’s auditorium.

“The auditorium is a focus point for the community,” Hertsel said. “We would look at technology upgrades, curtains, carpeting and lighting.”

More renovation would be directed to the library and doors.

Hertsel said the important thing voters need to remember is the millage is not new.

“They’re already paying it,” Hertsel said. “This is just a renewal of the millage that would allow us to continue repairs when needed.”

Tricia Gaideski, financial director for the district, said the cost for homeowners with $50,000 of taxable value would equal $42 per year. For an owner with $100,000 taxable value, the cost is $84 per year.

“With all the cutting the district has had to do in this economy, this renewal is essential for us,” Hertsel said.

The millage renewal proposal will appear on the Aug. 7 ballot.