Safe, Warm, Dry
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, voters in the Alpena Public School District will be asked to consider a zero (0) mill increase to provide enhancements to school district facilities.
Every project in the bond proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury. And, all renovations and upgrades will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The information on this page is provided to make sure members of the community understand the proposal and that all of their questions are answered before the vote which the Board of Education has scheduled for March 10th. Check back frequently as new information will be added as the scheduled voting day approaches.
Zero Mill Increase
In 1996, voters in Alpena and Presque Isle Counties approved a bond equal to 2.98 mills to build Thunder Bay Junior High, Lincoln Elementary School, and complete other technology and construction projects. That bond required that 2.98 mills be paid over the course of the next 25 years, just like a home mortgage. We are now in year 23 of that bond measure.
Since that time, our tax bills have gradually reduced from the original 2.98 mills to the current 1.80 mills due to the bond nearing its completion and because our school administration and Board of Education have acted to refinance the original bond measure to take advantage of lower interest rates since 1996, which has saved taxpayers interest expense.
Our current rate of 1.80 mills is exactly what the March 10, 2020 bond asks our community members to support. We are requesting a continuation of the existing rate of 1.80 mills for a period of an addition 25 years. Because this new bond measure keeps the mill rate at the present 1.80 level, it is a zero (0) mill increase. No one's taxable mill rate for Alpena Public Schools will increase in any way beyond where they currently are.
How does Alpena's current school bond debt compare to other districts? Peer Millage Rates
It is true that the timeframe for paying that debt is extended by the 25-year timeframe, but the benefit of that commitment is the numerous enhancements to our school buildings which are so desperately needed and the satisfaction that we have done our civic duty to provide an educational environment to our kids that keeps them Safe, Warm, and Dry.
See the document below to review the exact ballot language for the proposed bond measure.
Safety, Boilers, Roofs
Just like a homeowner, Alpena Public Schools maintains its facilities to the best of our ability using available funds. Even with the best of care however, any roof will eventually leak, and any boiler will begin to show its age and lack of efficiency. When a roof or heating system gets beyond its life expectancy, it becomes an obligation to address the problem. Homeowners often seek home improvement loans to fund these expenses. School districts must ask voters.
Our buildings see thousands of students through their doors every year. We want to provide a great learning environment for them, and keeping kids dry and warm is an absolute must. Part of the March 10, 2020 bond proposal addresses our old boilers and many failing roofs. The documents below list the age of the existing boilers and roofs around the district.
Safety of our students is our highest priority. This commitment demands that we follow best practices in making sure that our buildings are secure. Each school within the district will receive upgrades to improve our ability to monitor student safety through the installation of carefully placed indoor and outdoor security cameras, and to maintain orderly access to all our facilities by constructing secure entryways.
Bond Project List
If the March 10, 2020 bond proposal is approved by Alpena Public Schools voters, a number of projects will be completed at each school. The focus of these projects is to improve student safety, replace many outdated and inefficient heating systems, and address all the old roofs around the district.
Below is a list of projects for review. Questions about the projects can be directed to Superintendent John VanWagoner at 989-358-5042.
Homestead Property Tax Credit Calculator
Because the March 10 bond request is for a Zero (0) Mil increase, there is no increase to taxpayers' property taxes in this proposal. However, the link below will show a calculator that can still be used to estimate a property owner’s total tax bill.
A portion of taxes can be offset by the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit. Below is a summary of the revised Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit:
Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit – Households that pay homestead property taxes greater than 3.2% of their annual income may be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit. Eligible households may deduct up to 60% (up to 100% for senior citizens, please see the senior credit table below) of the millage increase cost up to a $1,500 Homestead Tax Credit limit. The eligibility for the credit begins to decrease after household income exceeds $51,001 and ends completely after the household income exceeds $60,001. Use the link to the online calculator above to see the impact of the Michigan Homestead Tax Credit on your family.
Absentee Voter Information
Registered voters in Michigan may now choose to vote absentee without stating a reason. The document linked below explains all about "no reason" absentee voting. Below you will also find a link to Michigan Absent Voter Ballot Application.