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911 millage, school bond vote Tuesday

February 25, 2013
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Dickinson County residents will decide an E-911 millage proposal, and Iron Mountain School District voters will determine a bond proposal in Tuesday's election.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Dickinson County is seeking 0.4 mills for three years to improve and operate the county's 911 system. If the millage passes, the county will replace the current system, which was purchased in 1991.

The cost to replace the 911 console equipment, which is six years beyond its design life, has been estimated at $360,000. A millage of levy of 0.4 mills would generate an estimated $375,000 in its first year.

The E-911 budget currently requires $300,000 annually from the county general fund, in addition to $288,000 generated from surcharges on telephone lines and cellular phones.

For taxpayers, a house with a market value of $150,000 will see a tax increase of $30 a year if the millage passes. For an $80,000 home with an equalized value of $40,000 the levy will amount to $16 annually.

Dickinson County E-911 Millage proposal reads, "Shall the voters of Dickinson County be assessed 0.4 mill ($.40 per $1,000.00 of Taxable Value) over and above the rate of taxation now in effect, to be levied for a period of three years, 2013 to 2015 inclusive, for the purpose of operating and equipping an Enhanced 911 system in Dickinson County and for no other purpose? The estimated amount of revenue that will be collected if approved and levied in the first calendar year is approximately $375,000."

Besides the 911 issue, the Iron Mountain School District is looking to borrow up to $9.5 million for 18 years for school improvements.

The funds would be used for:

- Remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing and re-furnishing the school buildings and other facilities.

- Preparing, developing and improving sites at the school buildings and other facilities.

- Equipping and re-equipping school buildings and other facilities for technology systems and equipment.

A previous bond issue put before voters in May 2012 asked for approval of $11 million for 20 years and was defeated by a total of 46 votes.

If the bond proposal passes, school officials said the increase to the average home owner will be about $71 per year throughout the length of the bond, if it is extended.

The School Improvement Bond Proposition reads: "Shall the School District of the City of Iron Mountain, County of Dickinson, State of Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand and 00/100 ($9,500,000) Dollars and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of paying for the cost of the following:

- Remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing and re-furnishing school buildings and other facilities;

- Preparing, developing and improving sites at school buildings and other facilities; and

- Equipping and re-equipping school buildings and other facilities for technology systems and equipment?

"The estimated millage that will be levied to pay the proposed bonds in the first year is 2.27 mills ($2.27 per $1,000 of taxable value). The maximum number of years the proposed bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of refunding, is not more than eighteen (18) years; and the estimated simple average annual millage that will be required to retire the proposed bonds over eighteen (18) years is 3.80 mills annually ($3.80 per $1,000 of taxable value).

"If approved by the voters the bonds will be guaranteed by the State of Michigan under Section 16 of Article IX of the State Constitution of 1963, as amended. If the School District borrows from the State of Michigan to pay debt service on the bonds under the State of Michigan's guarantee the School District may be required to levy debt mills beyond the term of the bonds to repay the State of Michigan.

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



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