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District voters to decide bond extension



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Goodrich High School. (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - Residents in the Goodrich School District will go to the polls on Tuesday, Feb.22, to vote for a $15.4 million bond extension.

This bond will be paid for by extending the current repayment schedule an additional six years, from 24 years (through 2034) to a 30-year bond (with final payoff in 2041). New bond payments will begin in 2011. The millage rate will continue at the current rate of 7.75 mills. (A $200,000 home with an SEV of $100,000 is $775 per year).

There will be no tax increase for area residents. School officials informed the district that due to the five year average on property values, the amount that could be levied for the bond had dropped from $32 million to $15.4 million, thus prompting the Feb. 22 bond extension vote. Waiting until May 2011 lowered the ability to bond to only $1.6 million.

School officials say the bond money will be used for: educational facilities, 41 percent; technology, 30 percent; athletics, 13 percent; energy upgrades, 11 percent; and safety/ADA, 5 percent. Details of the bond can be found on www.goodrich.k12.mi.us, the Goodrich School website.

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Mark Griffiths, school district resident and father of two Goodrich High School graduates, supports the bond extension and adds that most of the objections toward the bond are based on one small portion.

"The overriding issue that I understand is that some people don't like certain parts of the bond," he said. "But the overall bond issue is solid. You just can't take part of the bond and say no on that section. It's about the overall health and welfare of the school. From the safety (components), new cafeteria (at Reid), or technology (upgrades)—the fact is there were planning committees—so the bond was proposed based on the information from the community. From the teachers, administration or community members, any involved, the bond was based on those recommendations and this is what we all came up with."

David Lucik, the father of four Goodrich High School graduates, said this is not the time to be asking for astro turf

"Like any bond-extension, residents need to get out and vote," he said. "They call it 'Washington Pork.' The items on the bond are good, but in these tough economic times, give us what we need— and we don't need astro turf. It should be a no frills bond extension. What you do need is education. I was brought up on reading, writing and arithmetic—I have no problem with sports, it's good—my kids played sports for Goodrich. But times are hard for a lot of families and that's just not right."

Polls open at 8 a.m.

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