To the Journal editor:
I am writing this editorial to stress to the Marquette voters the importance of voting yes on the sinking fund millage for the Marquette school district. There have been some misconceptions regarding this millage.
This millage request is not a bond request for the district. A bond issue comes with a high price tag in the way of interest paid on the balance during the bond period, which is usually 20 years, and can add millions of dollars over the payment period.
A sinking fund millage is collected from the taxpayers annually over 10 years, but there is no interest paid on the money collected. The sinking fund can only be used to make repairs, renovations, and upgrades to the district buildings.
It is strictly monitored by the state of Michigan, and cannot be used for operating expenses of any sort. Each year, facility items must be submitted to the state to be considered for the use of the millage money collected. The state has the authority to deny any item they feel doesn't qualify for sinking fund monies.
This is a critical millage to bring our MAPS facilities up to date for safety issues, code upgrades, much needed technology, and improved classroom environments for our MAPS students. This millage is not in any way an attempt to resurrect the previous bond issue that was proposed a few years ago, and soundly defeated by the Marquette voters.
The purpose of the sinking fund will not require the demolition of any of our schools or make an expensive building addition to any facility. Our district school buildings are deteriorating and need attention.
We have reached a time where we need to take action and take necessary care of our school facilities. Even our newest buildings are deteriorating due to normal wear and tear.
Please support our students, teachers, and community by voting yes for this critical MAPS Sinking Fund Millage on the Aug. 5 election ballot.