By David Fleet
Goodrich- In a special meeting on March 19, the school board of trustees voted 7-0 to move the May 5, 2020 ballot for a $20,930,000 bond extension proposal to Aug. 4. The date change is due to concerns about the health risks of the community members and election workers associated with the Covid-19 virus.
“It is in the best interest of the community that the vote is moved,” said Wayne Wright, district superintendent.
The board’s decision was required before 5 p.m., March 20. School officials will now be required to go back to the State Treasurer. Qualified bonds require approval by the State Treasurer and an affirmative vote from the electors to authorize the district to issue the bonds.
The Aug. 5 primary will also include township elections in Brandon, Atlas and Groveland townships.
The Secretary of state will be mailing out all absent voter ballot applications to all registered voters looking to vote in the May 5 election. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced March 23, that absentee voter ballot applications will be mailed to all voters in the May 5 election “to help ensure both public health and democratic rights are protected,” according to a statement issued by the S.O.S.
“Our country has a long history of carrying out elections in times of crisis, and we are fortunate to have the tools to uphold that history today,” Benson said. “Voting by mail protects public health, is highly accessible, and was clearly mandated by Michiganders when they overwhelmingly voted in 2018 to amend our state constitution and afford everyone this right.”
Following an extensive facilities and condition assessment study of school district buildings last summer that total $45.9 million in upgrades, $26.5 million or 57 percent were recognized as critical within the next 1-3 years.
“We have pared the needs down to about a $20 million project,” said Wright. “We’ve looked at the needs of the district from roofs to electrical to mechanical. The (project) bond would not increase taxes rather extend the debt out until about 2030.”
Some the bond projects will include roofing, asphalt along with a new gymnasium at Oaktree Elementary School.
“Right now the gymnasium (at Oaktree) is also the lunch room,” said Wright. “Thus, it shuts down and they can’t have classes there for a period of time. With the new gymnasium in place additional room would be created for a makers space at Oaktree.”
Also, the middle school and high school entrance off Gale Road, will have a new vestibules for security.
Reid will have a new water well and roof. In addition, about $3 million is needed for technology will be included.