SMART bond, other millages approved in election

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

All of the proposals on the general election ballots were approved by the voters in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights.

In Dearborn and four precincts in Dearborn Heights, there were three proposals on the ballot, one for Dearborn Public Schools and two for Henry Ford Community College. All of Dearborn Heights voted on a proposal asking for .95 mills for the city’s library system.

The DPS bonding proposal was for the district’s $76 million SMART bond, which will address district needs in the areas of security, modifications, additions, renovations technology and transportation. It will be for 20 years and will renew a retiring bond.

The proposal passed 12,024 votes to 5,621, and received approval in both cities.

“We’re very excited that the proposal was approved, but we’re also very appreciative,” DPS Communications Coordinator Brian Mustonen said. “Our community and our parents really showed their support for the schools and we are very appreciative of that. The voters have really made a commitment to education and to this school district.”

The passing of this proposal will not affect the existing mill rate of 5.35 mills, which will remain the same.

The two HFCC millages, one for a renewal and the second for an additional mill, were approved by votes of 12,758 to 5,193 and 10,778 to 7,128, respectively. Both were approved in both cities.

The renewal will be to continue millages that are set to expire next year. It will combine the current ongoing millages, one at 2.5 mills and another at 0.5 mills, to one 3.0 mill and renew it for 10 years. These mills generate roughly $10 million annually that is used as operational money for the college.

The second HFCC proposal is for an additional 1 mill for five years to be used for general operational purposes. It is estimated that this proposal will raise over $3 million for the college.

After the election, HFCC President Stan Jensen thanked the community for its support of the college.

“This millage represents a significant part of the college’s operating budget, so we’re thankful and humbled by the community’s support of the college,” Jensen said. “We’re very thankful for the confidence that the community has placed in HFCC and we take it very seriously and we will continue to work to make our operations more efficient and to continually improve the services we can provide to our students.”

In Dearborn Heights, the library proposal passed 3,479 votes to 3, 254.

The .95 mill represents 95 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation on all taxable property in the city, and is expected to generate over $1 million for the city’s two libraries in its first year.

Library Director Michael McCaffery said he was “extremely elated” that the millage received so much support from the community.

“It’s really great that the residents of Dearborn Heights thought enough of our libraries to keep their long-term future secure,” McCaffery said. “We had a lot of support from the community and we also had a great grassroots effort to inform the residents about the millage and why we needed it.”

He said the millage comes at a time when community use of the libraries is very high, especially for the computers.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)