Northwest Schools puts $24.9 million bond proposal before voters

News

BLACKMAN TWP., Mich. (WLNS) — We’re now five days away from the May election.

 

Next Tuesday, voters will decide school bonds and millage proposals across Michigan.

 

In Jackson County, a $25 million bond is up for consideration in Northwest Community Schools.

 

6 News spoke with the district’s superintendent as they make a final push for support.

    

Voters in the Northwest school district approved a $40 million bond five years ago to improve facilities. 

 

But Superintendent Geoff Bontrager says “Mountie Nation” needs more updating.

    

“This bond is really about taking the next step,” Bontrager said.

 

They’re asking voters to consider a $24.9 million bond proposal.

    

If it’s approved on Tuesday, they’ll add 23 new classrooms to the district, along with improving existing spaces for science, technology, and the arts.

 

“There’s really something in this for everyone, right down to new playground equipment for the upper elementary,” Bontrager said.

 

Outside schools, parking lots, lighting, and athletic facilities will be improved.

 

Bontrager says they need to keep up with a growing population in this part of Jackson County.

 

“Get all of our programming top notch for our kids and our community,” Bontrager said.

 

The superintendent says the response to the bond proposal has mostly been positive.

 

But he says some misinformation is getting out to families in the district.

 

Bontrager says an anonymous letter is showing up in mailboxes, telling people not to vote for the bond.

 

It calls the improvements “wasteful” and gives the wrong information about how much money will be collected. 

 

“They are, in the middle of the night, stuffing it into mailboxes. Which is illegal, and it’s unfortunate. Everything on it is misinformation,” Bontrager said.

 

Local authorities say the incident has been forward to postal service inspectors for investigation.

 

Northwest says the bond will cost taxpayers with a home worth $120,000 an extra $114 a year in taxes.

 

“What they equates to is 30-40 cents a day,” Bontrager said.

 

Bontrager is encouraging everyone to get out and vote on Tuesday and consider what the bond can do for the community.

 

“The backbone of any community truly is the schools,” Bontrager said.

 

If you live in Jackson County, chances are you have a school funding issue on your ballot.

 

Along with Northwest there are proposals for Jackson, East Jackson, Columbia, and Western.

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