Orange squares bring awareness to local bond proposal
(2/12/2020) - A number of mid Michigan communities are asking their residents to pass multi-million dollar bond proposals this year.
But, how can you convince people to pay more for needed services?
One community is bringing awareness in an unusual way.
Mount Morris Middle School is one of six buildings that could see millions of dollars in upgrades.
In order for people to see what's at stake, many projects are labeled with bright orange stickers.
You can see them all over the Mount Morris school system.
An awareness campaign to show what could be replaced, repaired or renovated.
"Our needs are really, really basic. Our district, we need roofs replaced. We are looking at heating systems being updated, so there's more efficient heating. And then air-conditioning as well," said Mount Morris Consolidated Schools Superintendent Renae Galsterer.
Each sticker is meant to highlight, and remind voters of the many projects an $11.2 million dollar bond fund proposal could help. It's been decades since the last bond proposal was approved.
For example, a new roof for the high school will cost nearly $2.5 million dollars.
I asked Superintendent Galsterer (GALSTER) how she came up with the idea.
(Galsterer) "Other schools have had similar ideas. I've even seen some use the orange squares signifying future construction, future construction dreams. And so, we thought it would be a nice way for people to see where their tax dollars were going," commented Galsterer.
And it's not just structural items where the money could be put to good use.
Improvements would be made to the school's athletic fields, including new synthetic turf for their football field, extra bleachers, and a new running track.
"If this bond doesn't go through, we'll be in a real bind. I think they'll have to re-group, get some more input from the community and go back at it with a new strategy. Because the things that we're talking about doing, there's not money available to take care of them," added Galsterer.
The cost to each taxpayer would amount to a little over a hundred and ten dollars a year.
If the bond proposal is approved, expect other major changes to accommodate newer building codes, as well as improvements to help those with disabilities.