FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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1 (BSSF) August 6, 2013 School Election FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS HISTORY AND FEATURES 1. What is on the August 6, 2013 ballot? On August 6, 2013, voters in the South Redford School District will be asked to consider a 2.0 mill Building and Site Sinking Fund (BSSF). The millage will provide approximately $967,400 each year, for the next 10 years. The goal of the BSSF is to allow the district to fund building and site repairs, including safety and security measures and various infrastructure upgrades, through a funding mechanism outside the General Fund. 2. What are the major features of this building and site sinking fund proposal? The BSSF will pay for repairs, replacements, additions and/or remodeling at all of our district buildings, including such items as secure front vestibules, roofs, windows, doors, boilers and chillers, lighting, and various site work that have been prioritized facility upgrades over the next 10 years. The goals for these upgrades are to allow the district to continue to provide students and the community with safe and secure learning environments and to protect taxpayers investment in our schools. 3. What study and research went into determining the need for the Building and Site Sinking Fund? In 2005, the South Redford School District implemented a Bond Program that addressed various facilities goals of the district and made a number of infrastructure improvements at that time. The Board and administration agree that our buildings have served very well over the past several years, but as our buildings age, we know that we are moving closer to the end of the useful life of our building systems and components. As part of its efforts to provide responsible fiscal management, the district hired Auch Construction Company to assess our facilities, and identify the future repair and renovation priorities for our school facilities. The Facility Assessment Report was completed in This report identified approximately $28 million of facility recommendations to be addressed over the next twenty years.

2 4. Why do we need a Building and Site Sinking Fund millage NOW? The average age of our district s facilities is 58 years. While we have been fortunate that our community has supported bond issue programs over the years, we have identified ongoing repairs and renovation projects that are over and above what could be accomplished in those programs. As is the case with all older buildings, the district s school buildings will need repairs in the next 10 years to maintain safe and healthy learning environments for students. With the budget crisis hitting all Michigan districts over the past several years, districts have looked to other funding mechanisms outside of the General Operating Fund to keep buildings safe and in proper working condition, and to preserve more of their shrinking general operating funds for pupil instruction The district investigated funding mechanisms and determined that a Building and Site Sinking Fund millage was the most appropriate and responsible way to handle infrastructure upgrades. As the following chart illustrates, SRSD s current funding is equal to what we received six years ago in South Redford School District s Total Revenue $33,000,000 $32,500,000 $32,000,000 $31,500,000 $31,000,000 $30,500,000 $30,000,000 $29,500,000 $29,000,000 $28,500,000 Current funding at levels Over 6% Decrease $28,000,000 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 Revenue $28,417, $29,588, $30,143, $30,605, $31,063, $32,589, $32,270, $30,293, Page 2 5/28/13

3 5. Is the Board of Education behind these proposals? The Board unanimously approved the recommendation for the BSSF program. As always, the Board of Education has expressed its commitment to quality educational programs and facilities for our students and entire community and has indicated thatit wholeheartedly supports this bond program. 6. Describe the types of projects that could be addressed at each of our school buildings through the Building and Site Sinking Fund. Page 3 5/28/13

4 Pierce Middle School Security Work Add secure front vestibule Keycard Entry System Video surveillance upgrades Repair interior doors throughout school Replace exterior doors and frames Energy Efficiency Work Repair doors throughout school Replace exterior doors and frames Occupancy sensors Replace exterior lighting with high efficiency LED Replace gym lighting with high efficiency lighting Renovation Work Revise stage area at cafeteria Repair windows Replace roofing Refinish gym floor Renovate cafeteria area Reconfigure locker room, showers, and storage rooms Mechanical Work Replace boilers, chillers Replace main water shutoffs Replace hot water tank Sitework & Demolition Replace sidewalks Repair/Replace asphalt parking areas New sign Replace flagpole Thurston High School Security Work Add secure front vestibule Replace exterior doors and frames Repair interior doors throughout school Keycard Entry System Video surveillance upgrades Energy Efficiency Work Install pool cover Occupancy sensors Replace exterior lighting with LED Replace lights at football field Page 4 5/28/13

5 Renovation Work Renovate cafeteria area Replace auditorium lift system Replace 20% of ceiling throughout school Regrout pool deck and pool Replace gym roof louvers Replace roofing at gym, 300 hall, and balance of building Asbestos abatement Refinish gym floor Mechanical Work Replace boilers and chillers Replace pool heater Replace shutoff in boiler room Electrical Emergency generator Cafeteria lighting renovations Sitework & Demolition Demolish greenhouse Replace retaining walls at courtyard Replace concrete walks Rebuild tennis courts Storage building for athletics Replace graduation platform Replace underground diesel storage tanks Repair/Replace asphalt parking areas Replace football field turf 7. Will the energy efficiency of our buildings be improved with these projects? Yes. One of the foremost goals in implementing the BSSF projects is to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings in order to reduce our operational expenses and the pressure on the district s general fund. Improvements such as roofing, windows, doors and mechanical/electrical system upgrades are all expected to have a positive impact on reducing our operational expenses in the future. 8. Can Building and Site Sinking Fund dollars be used for building security measures? Yes. For example, sinking fund dollars can be used for building entrance modification, keyless entry systems, and video surveillance infrastructure. 9. How will safety and security be enhanced through this program? Safety and security will be addressed in the Building and Site Sinking Fund (BSSF) through a combination of upgrades. The main entry door will have an intercom system, cameras and electronic latching devices. This system allows main office personnel to view and communicate with students, staff and visitors and grant access remotely. A secure vestibule/lobby will be incorporated into the entry sequence that prohibits direct access into the main building. From the vestibule, visitors enter the main office to check in before they can enter the main building. Page 5 5/28/13

6 10. How will passage of the Building and Site Sinking Fund millage benefit students and the community? If approved, the money raised through the Building and Site Sinking Fund millage will: Maintain learning facilities that represent one part of the district s (and the community s) effort to keep and attract residents. Protect the community s investment in the school district s buildings and facilities. Enable South Redford students to learn and grow in a safe, secure and healthy environment. Reduce pressure on the general fund so that more of the school district s limited educational operating funds are available to support student learning. 11. Why is it important to attract and retain students in the district? South Redford School District receives operational funding from the State of Michigan for every student attending SRSD schools. The quality of a school district s program and the condition of its facilities are two factors that parents use when deciding where to send their children to school and, for both families and adults without children, where to purchase a home. The goal of the Building and Site Sinking Fund millage is to maintain our facilities over the next 10 years to support updated teaching methods and to continue to provide appropriate and comfortable learning environments for our children. Parents have many choices as to where their children will receive their education. SRSD wants to maintain its reputation as a leader in this area and provide the types of facilities and programs that will attract and retain our students. 12. How does this Sinking Fund proposal compare with other Sinking Funds in Michigan? 144 Districts in Michigan collect millage dollars for Building and Site Sinking Funds. In Wayne County, 13 school districts have a Sinking Fund, collecting an average of mills. 13. What are the benefits of the Building and Site Sinking Fund proposal for residents who don t have students in the district? There are a number of benefits for residents without school-aged children. First, updated and improved schools can enhance property values. Page 6 5/28/13

7 FINANCIAL AND ELECTION INFORMATION 14. How much will the millage cost a homeowner? The cost to individual homeowners will vary depending upon the taxable value of the property. The chart below gives the estimated increase for the Building and Site Sinking Fund millage. Home Market Value Home Taxable Value Annual Increase (2.00 Mills) Approximate Monthly Impact $25,000 $12,500 $25 $2.08 $50,000 $25,000 $50 $4.17 $75,000 $37,500 $75 $6.25 $100,000 $50,000 $100 $8.33 The average home market value for a homeowner in the South Redford School District is approximately $40,500, equating to a $3.38 monthly impact by this millage increase. 15. What is a mill? A mill represents $1.00 for every $1,000 of taxable value of your property. The taxable value of your property is the same or lower than the state equalized value and substantially lower (50 percent or more) than the market value. Also, it is important to remember that property taxes, including any increases, can be deductible on your federal income tax returns and may count as a credit on you state returns. 16. What is the difference between a bond and a sinking fund millage? A bond is a lump-sum dollar amount that a school district borrows through the sale of bonds in order to fund capital projects. Taxpayers pay the bond money back over a period of years, with interest, similar to a home mortgage. A sinking fund millage is a limited property tax considered a pay-as-you-go method, for addressing building repairs and improvements. No debt or interest payments are incurred with a Sinking Fund. A district can levy a sinking fund millage for up to 20 years, providing the district with a designated building repair and upgrade fund that is not a part of the General Fund, thus reducing pressure on the district s general fund. 17. Is the school district required to spend the entire $967,400 in the year it is received or can the funds accumulate? The district is not required to spend the entire $967,400 during the year it is received. The district is required to track the millage revenues and expenditures separately in a Building and Site Sinking Fund, and is allowed to maintain a positive fund balance in this fund at year end. The district is not required to spend money within a specified time period. (Note: the Michigan Department of Treasury requires that the fund be audited each year.) Page 7 5/28/13

8 18. How can I be assured the money will be spent as promised? Building and Site Sinking Fund proceeds can only be used to repair, remodel or construct buildings and sites. BSSF proceeds cannot be used for teacher, administrator or employee salaries. By law, BSSF expenditures must be audited yearly for compliance according to the Michigan Department of Treasury guidelines. 19. Will money from the sinking fund millage be used to pay teachers salaries and benefits? NO. School districts are not allowed to use funds from building and site sinking fund proceeds for operating expenses such as teachers, administrators, or employee salaries. By law, sinking fund millage proceeds must be kept separate from general operating funds. 20. What are the key dates leading up to the August 6th vote? Final day to register to vote is Monday, July 8, Absentee ballots must be available by Saturday, June 22, Final day to vote absentee is Monday, August 5, Election Day is Tuesday, August 6, How will the proposal appear on the ballot? Shall the South Redford School District, County of Wayne, Michigan, be authorized to levy 2.00 mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) to create a sinking fund for the purpose of the construction or repair of school buildings and the improvement and development of sites, and for any other purpose permitted by law, by increasing the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in the School District for a period of ten (10) years, being the years 2013 to 2022, inclusive? It is estimated that 2.00 mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable valuation) would raise approximately $967,400 in the first year that it is levied. (Under state law, sinking fund proceeds may not be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries.) 22. Where and when do I register to vote? Voter registration must be completed by June 8, 2013, in order to vote in the August 6, 2013, election. You can register at the Township Clerk s office or complete a registration application and mail to: Redford Township Hall (313) Garth J. Christie Office of the Clerk Charter Township of Redford Beech Daly Road Redford, Michigan Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-4:30 pm OR Page 8 5/28/13

9 At the Secretary of State Branch Office when you update your driver s license to reflect a name and/or address changes, including the Renewal by Mail program. Your voter registration will be updated automatically. At designated government agencies (i.e., Michigan Department of Social Services local office; County Health Department offices; Armed Forces recruitment offices). You may obtain voter registration forms from the Superintendent s Office or at any of the offices at the high school, middle and elementary schools, as well as the state website, IMPORTANT: If you register to vote by mail, you cannot vote by absentee ballot your first time voting. The first time you vote, it MUST be in PERSON if you ve registered by mail! 23. What is the procedure for absentee voting? Applications for Absentee Ballots are available: Clerk s office On-line at In your school building offices Note: Once ballots are available at your Clerk s office, you may walk into the clerk s office, receive an absentee application, fill it out, and immediately be given your ballot to cast your vote. 24. Where do I vote? The South Redford School District voting precincts polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m. The precincts are as follows: SOUTH REDFORD POLLING LOCATIONS Precincts Building Address 16 Addams Elementary Berwyn 17 Christ Church Wormer 18 Shear School Schoolcraft 19 Redford Community Center Hemingway 20 St. Robert Bellarmine School W. Chicago 21 Pierce Middle School Orangelawn 22 Fisher Elementary School Crosley 23 St. Hillary Elmira 24 Jefferson Elementary School Westfield 25 Vandenberg Elementary School Cathedral 25. If I have further questions, where can I get additional information? Please call x1001 or visit Page 9 5/28/13

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