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Frequently Asked Bond Questions
Frequently Asked Bond Questions
Au Gres-Sims School District
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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Frequently Asked Questions

August 7, 2018 Bond Election

When is the election?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available after June 23rd.

What is on the ballot?

Registered voters residing within the boundaries of the Au Gres-Sims (AGS) School District will vote on a $8.1 million bond proposal. Voter approval of the bond proposal will not change the current tax rate.

Why has the school district scheduled this bond election?

The primary purpose of the bond election is to remodel and upgrade schools and school facilities.

The bond proposal on the August 7 ballot was designed to provide funding for a learning environment that is safe, secure, and up-to-date. The bond proposal was also designed to protect the community’s investment in its schools and to reflect positively on homeowner property values.

If approved by voters, projects funded through the bond proposal will affect every Au Gres-Sims student and every Au Gres-Sims school.

The bond projects fall into four major categories:

  1. Updating and remodeling classrooms and school facilities
  2. Enhancing student safety by securing entrances to both schools and by creating a secure athletic entrance
  3. Replacing outdated boilers with a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  4. Improving traffic flow and the safety of students, parents, and visitors by installing a defined, secure bus loop and a new parking lot

How will the bond proposal affect students?

The bond proposal will affect students in several ways, including…

  • renovating, and upgrading the learning environment
  • providing a climatized learning environment that supports 21st Century instruction
  • enhancing student safety by constructing secure entrances to schools and athletic venues, and by creating a defined bus loop and traffic pattern for orderly student drop-off and pick-up

What will the bond proposal cost?

If voters approve the $8.1 million bond proposal, there will be no increase in the current tax rate. None! The current tax rate will simply be extended.

What’s included in the bond proposal at each school?

If the bond proposal is approved by voters, the following projects will be completed at each school.

Au Gres-Sims Elementary School Projects

Sitework

Replace parking lot and drives
Replace administrative lot asphalt
Construct new bus loop/drop-off
Install drop-off area sidewalk
Add handicap ramp access to playground
Replace miscellaneous concrete walks

New Construction

Construct secured entry

Building Renovation

Replace nine elementary windows (Teachers’ Lounge, Science Lab, and Classrooms 9-15)
Install new cabinets and countertops in 14 classrooms
Provide drainage in crawlspace below Classrooms 1 and 2
Replace/correct elementary connector floor tile
Replace classroom asbestos floor tile
Replace eight, K-8 toilet room doors
Replace K-2 casework and sink cabinet; add storage
Replace Multi-Media Room doors and paint door frames
Replace two entry doors and door frames
Replace exterior Boiler Room door
Repair masonry around register in Head End Room
Replace asbestos floor tile in Room 6
Renovate staff restroom; replace sink cabinet; paint exposed conduit
Remove asbestos-covered roof drain in custodial closet
Replace carpet in Business Office
Replace boys’ and girls’ toilet room partitions (two locations)

Mechanical Work

Add air conditioning
Replace four boilers
Add ventilation to Business Office
Upgrade classroom HVAC units (includes Middle School and High School)

Electrical Work

Upgrade electrical system
Replace three circuit breaker panels

Au Gres-Sims Middle/High School Projects

Sitework

Replace parking lot and drives
Add bus drop-off on east side
Replace miscellaneous concrete walks
Anchor catch basin at southeast corner of gymnasium; add concrete pad
Add exit walkways on west side of building
Install new digital electronic sign

New Construction

Construct ADA compliant boys’ and girls’ restrooms at northeast end of connecting corridor
Construct secure gymnasium entry with gathering area
Construct secured entry to Middle School/High School

Building Renovation

Remodel boys’ and girls’ restroom in the north end of High School for ADA compliance
Replace window pane and broken seal in Room 35
Repair masonry expansion joint in Multi-Media Room
Replace exterior door and door frame in Boiler Room
Remove cabinets and sinks in Room 10
Repair window plaster jambs in Room 11
Reconfigure High School toilet room for ADA compliance
Repair structural movement above northeast door in Gymnasium
Replace partition door in girls’ locker room
Replace toilet partition in boys’ locker room
Repair structural movement in Classrooms 20/22
Correct moisture issues below Classrooms 10-22 and stage
Repair wall moisture issue in Classrooms 23-26
Replace window sill in Classroom 30
Replace carpet in six Middle School classrooms
Replace casework in Classroom 20
Add storage
Renovate Principal’s Office; replace carpet
Replace/correct Middle School connector floor tile
Renovate existing Athletic Director Office into a Special Education classroom
Relocate storage facility to east side of school
Replace 180 student lockers in High School

Mechanical Work

Replace High School Media Center roof top unit
Reconfigure High School toilet rooms for ADA compliance
Install relief air hoods for Rooms 30-36
Replace floor urinal in boy’s restroom across from Room 23
Replace five Middle School boilers
Remove water supply and drain from Computer Lab
Replace six High School boilers
Add air conditioning
Upgrade to vertical unit ventilators in classrooms

Electrical Work

Install new main electrical service
Replace pull fuse to electrical main
Remove old phone wiring from Athletic Director’s Office
Upgrade lighting in locker room/Unit C toilet rooms
Upgrade parking lot lighting

Equipment/Furnishings

Replace two kitchen reach-in refrigerator units
Replace kitchen reach-in freezer
Replace kitchen oven/cooktop
Replace classroom furniture

Technology

Install new VOIP phone system
Install universal clock system

Why is this bond proposal so comprehensive?

The August 7th bond proposal was developed to support the Au Gres-Sims School District’s strategic facilities plan. The Au Gres-Sims Board of Education believes district schools and facilities are at the point where renovations and upgrades are necessary to enhance security and student safety, to support the school district’s instructional program, and to protect the community’s investment in schools and school facilities.

What is the schedule for bond proposal projects?

Work on the projects will begin immediately after voter approval of the August 7th bond proposal. It is the school district’s intent to have all projects completed in 2-3 years.

Will all bond proposal revenue benefit the Au Gres-Sims School District?

Yes. All revenue from the bond proposal will benefit the Au Gres-Sims School District. None of the revenue will go to Lansing or to any other school district or political entity.

If the bond proposal is approved by voters, will property values be affected?

History tells us that real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that are perceived to offer a quality educational program and have up-to-date school facilities.

All Au Gres-Sims bond proposal projects were designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s positive reputation.

What is a bond proposal?

A bond is a State-approved funding process for a set scope of projects. When voters approve a bond proposal, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds of the sale to pay for those projects in the bond proposal. Bonds are usually paid back in 20-30 years.

In many ways, the bonding process is like a homeowner obtaining a mortgage and making payments over a period of years.

Bonds can be used for:

  • Constructing new school buildings
  • Constructing additions to existing school buildings
  • Remodeling existing school buildings
  • Energy conservation improvements
  • Land purchases
  • Site development and improvements
  • Athletic and physical education facility development and improvements
  • Playground development and improvements
  • Refunding debt (if new present value savings can be demonstrated)
  • Direct bond program costs such as professional fees, election fees, issuance costs, qualification fees, insurance fees, final audit costs
  • School bus purchases
  • Purchasing loose furnishings and equipment (including administrative technology)
  • Technology purchases limited to hardware and communication devices that transmit, receive or compute information for pupil instructional purposes only. The initial purchase of operating system and customized application software is allowed if purchased with the initial hardware.

Bonds cannot be used for:

  • Salaries, service contracts, lease payments, installment contracts, and supplies
  • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements
  • Purchasing automobiles, trucks, or vans
  • Portable classrooms purchased for temporary use
  • Uniforms
  • Textbooks
  • Upgrades to an existing computer operating system or application software
  • Computer training, computer consulting, or computer maintenance contracts.

Can any of the bond proposal funds be used for employee salaries or operating expenses?

No. Bond proposal funds cannot be used for employee salaries. They also cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses. Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and, as required by State law, they must be independently audited.

What will appear on the August 7th ballot?

Here is the exact ballot wording:

AU GRES-SIMS SCHOOL
DISTRICT BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Au Gres-Sims School District, Arenac County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Eight Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($8,100,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor for the purpose of:

erecting, furnishing, and equipping additions to school buildings, including secured entry additions for the elementary school and high school/middle school buildings; remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping school buildings; erecting, furnishing and equipping a transportation facility; and developing, equipping, preparing and improving athletic facilities/structures, athletic fields, and sites?

  • YES
  • NO

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2019 is 2.65 mills ($2.65 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a -0- mill net increase over the prior year's levy. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 2.30 mills ($2.30 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other opera ting expenses .)

A YES vote typically means that you support a proposal. Is that the case in this election?

Yes. Voters who support the Au Gres-Sims School District’s bond proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the bond proposal should vote NO.

What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?

The bond projects cannot be addressed as proposed.

Who can vote in this bond proposal election?

Residents of the Au Gres-Sims School District who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are registered to vote by July 2, 2018.

Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting?

Go to the Michigan Voter Information website (webapps.sos.state.mi.us) or call the Clerk’s Office where you reside.

Do I need to update my voter registration?

If you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted, you need to update your voter registration. Do this at any Secretary of State Office or at the Clerk’s Office where you reside.

Can I vote by absentee ballot?

Registered voters can vote by absentee ballot if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They expect to be out of town on Election Day;
  2. They are 60 years of age or older;
  3. They are unable to vote without assistance at the polls; or,
  4. They cannot attend the polls due to religious reasons.

Absentee ballots will be available to voters after June 23rd. The Clerk will mail absentee ballot applications to residents on the permanent absentee voter list shortly before or shortly after that date.

Between June 23rd and August 6th, voters can complete their absentee ballot application and vote in one stop at their Clerk’s Office. The whole process takes about five minutes.

To get more information about the bond election and answers to your questions...